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Full text of "The retvrning backslider; or, A commentarie upon the whole XIIII. chapter of the prophecy of the Prophet Hosea"

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C| R, ;:; 

C O M M E N T A R I E 

upon the whole xim. Chapter 
of the Prophecy of the Prophet H os E A. 


og Wherein is fliewedthc large extent of G o D s free 
Mercy 3 even unto the ttioft mifcrablc forlorne and 
wretched Ji##m that way be, upon their 
Humiliation and Repentance. 

*$* Preached by that Learned and Jucficious Divine, 
D. Si BBS, hce Preacher to the Honourable Society 

of Gfoya lmk } and M-iiK i of K.uhcrinc Hail in 

Published by his owne Permiflion before 
his DeatK 

] E K E M. 3. lOjIT. 

Goc and Procl^mcthcfe rvcrds towards the Xorth,.ind(ay , ^? 
ReturnethoH $*ckfi*J*n 1 fr a*l > faith the LOR mandl#ill gf 
not caufc mine Anrer to fall ufm you : for I am rntrcifnllfath 
the Lo R D /r//^ / *w/^ ^^ ^i-^f Angtr fcr ever. 
Ondy Ackwwltdgt tfnnc Iniquity y &c. 

ft FnntcJbyG. Af 

LO ^ 

George Edwtrdi 

at the ligne of the 

? ,c <i)(d Baify " Orccrc.Artoar *; 
M D C X X X I X. 

Ood Reade r thisTrea 
tile begs the favour 
of thole , concerning 
I whom etpectally it is faid Chi ill 
came for, poore trembling fin- 
ers, the blind, the prifoners of 
| hope,6cfuch who by the allidui 
j ty,iteration and multitude of Sa- 
; tansdifcouragements ckttmpta 
tions,fitasit were in darknes,<3c 
,in the valley of death, ro whom 
every fowre thing is Iweet. Ee. 
caufethefe moftof allrehfli and 
j ftand in need of mercy .-for vvli^n 
A die 

Tf the Reader. 

the leaft flame of that unfup- 
pertable wrath, breakes forth in 1 
(hew, which ispowred out like! 
fire, and kind ecl by the breath 
of the Lord of Hoftes like a ri 
ver of brimftone, which can 
make the mountaines quake, 
th ehils melt, burne up the earth 
and all that is therein, the poore 
foule for the time thinking on 
nothing but blackeneffe and 
darkenefTe of tempeft, whilft 
by pad finnes, without fight of 
the Mediator ftares them in the 
face with millions of uncon- 
ceiveable horrors and aftonifli- 
ments ; then to fee light in dark- 
nefTe, Mercy in wrath,the Sun^ 
ftiine of righteoufnefTe, agrati- 
ous God appeafed by a Media 
tor, with (ome fight and fenfe of 



its intereft therm,thismuft needs 
overjoy the troubled foule 
which is the maine fubjecl: of 
this books : how gratious God 
is to encourage miferable fin. 
ncrs to returne: what incou- 
ragements and helps hce gives 
them : what effects h is gratious 
working hath in them: and 
how fvveetly they clofe with 
him againe. Wherefore though ! 
this mefle comes not unto thee 
fet forth in a Lordly dim, not 
having palled fince the preach 
ing thereof, under the exqui.- 
fite hand ofthemoft worthy 
Author, yetdefpile it not: for 
jmany times though things of 
greater judgement arTed: the 
understanding moft, yet things 
of lefler concifenefTe , worke 
A 4, more 

Tf the Reader. 

more upon the afFedtions in a 
pkine flowing way: which hap* 
pinetfe with all other felicities 
he wiftieth thee,\vho is ever 

Thine in the be ft bonds 



&&& H E timewbevHofez frotibe 

- IT* H 

f&fUofGw are ex- 

boned to repentance by many 
motives., pag. 3. 

t o their petiti- 

not fttddcnly upon bis children^ but 
them warning^zg.6* 
Whicbanfetbfromtbegoodneffeof bis nature, 




Jn returning to God there mu (I be a 


Resolution what it ^,pag.p. 

Hw to know the truth of our Humiliation, pag . 

Where there is a falliflgintoftnne there rvi 

The Contents. 

falling into ml fir j ,pag,i 2 , &c. 
God *s witting t& be at peace with ^.. 
In All oar diftrejfis we mujl come to Godinfraier, 

Why we muft bring words with us though God 
.times wr w/W,pag,22 . 

That words wdfurpofesmttjlcoKcurre in prayer 
pag. 23. 

Confeffion howit is to be made, pag. 24. 
Why all iniquity is to be pr aid again (t #w 2<? 
rhe try all oftfanddtfire^^ 6 . 
nJMcrcy begged above all^zg. 27. 

Whether wtwghtnotteth wkeof our former (ins, \ 

How we may know ourftmes are forgiven, pag. 

s * 

Themiferyoftbofetkathffvenot their jinnes f or- 
GodsfAvours are comfleate to hu children, pag. 

The loadftone of the fettle ts g W,pag. j A,&C 
m^ knew bkfiKgs come from the foe 



v 1,5 2 , 


The Contents. 

ifcGod^z^ 60, &c. 

fft rv 1 9 know when pra/fe u accepted^zg. 63 . 
Reformation muft bcioyned*tthprayer$zg.66 
True repentance is of the particular Jin f pag, 67 

The creature cannot helpe ofitfelfe^g. 7 ,&c 
We are not to place our confidence in forces At horn 

Warre is lawful/, pag. 78,7^. 
Hew we frail know when we exceed in confdenc 
in the creaturejpag . 8 c , 8 1 . 

BoafttKgis Idolatry, pag. 82, 8 3. 
The danger of earn all confidcnce^zg. 84. 
The emptinefle efthe crcature,pag,S 5,&c, 
i^<lcn naturally prone to idolatry, pag 9 2 , 93, 


Btttcrnejfeoffinnecwfeth repent an cc 

Ottr affiance ought not to be upon the 
hut upon GW-jpag. 102. 

Religion /*,pag. 103 ,104. 

^<? w&rMates Ckrifttans,p2g. 105 

moftfoeetok)eff,y2ig. 106, 
W&y GoJJIxwes mercy tathediftreffed$zg. 1 1 o, 

III 5 &C. 

Wcrldline/e tobehated,y2g.\i ),i 

Howtorttort Satans poSicy in our extrctmity, 

Wfcr^ Gcd gives a, ftirit ef prayer he mB anfoer, 

Why wefoouldcome before Go& i* 



The Contents, 

That Gods church and Children are front to 


Repentance not tob 

f conviction makes w carele/e, pag. 1 5 o 

_ I43/&C. 

e of the new Covenant > p ag .; 4 9 
Thegreatefljinne is to deny God the glory of his 


1^/4 a iff couragement to fear ch our fins decfely,\ 
pag. 15 r,&c. 
HOW to know God hath f ar done dour fins ^2^. 156 


Why carnallmenare fo quiet ,pag. 1 5 p . 
How to know the far don ofJin$2Q s .i6c. 
Why Godjiffcrs infirmities^^. i<5i 5 &C. 
Why thefiule mt* ft be humbled ,ipag. ? 65 . 
H0 iv God loves freely jpzg. 172,173 ,&c. 
Gods anger againjlfwne^ pag. 183,184^ &c. 
Refentancetttrnes away Gods anger, pag. 188?) 

/i <?? anger fdt may be remoovedjpzg *i 9 3 . 
How to know afflictions are not m wrath though 

ThatGedhathafalvc for every for^j y pag. 


Gods love is afrttitfultl0 vejp3g. io l $>2o6. 
Why Gods grace is comparedHbto the Dew, pag . 

2 09 . 

The Contents. 

raceto fanttife And alter 

Cltrifti**sgr* like Ltllies^zg. 219,220. 
ThefrftffrifigoftheGofpell was fpeedse, pag 


Water every yeare turnedinto m/><?,pag. 222. 
ofa necefiity ittgrowth,y 3,^.22$. 
We mujl claime the fromifes $3%. 225. 
Whence comes tbeftMity of Gods children, pag 

Why Gods children are not comfortable, 

How to be rooted in groct$*g.2 37;. 
Vremft labdttr to know the fromifes, pag.2 39 . 
Why Chrijliansfeare their eft ate is not good, Y*g > 

The Church ycelds afl? 

The family the better for A good govensour, pag 
Uyi, 272, &c. 

corne,. p^g. 2757, 

Chriftians cowptredtothe -Vint in fruit fidnefc, 
rr/^y Chriftians fend forth fo-fweet afint, p3g. 

|292,293 &C * 

A fruit full convey jiiti en very fivcttry^zg.igj, 
/ 293,&c. 

True renouncing offwne mtift be with indignat ;- 

Thtfonles &i me p.i g . 3 o ? , 3 c 9 . 

It#v cfwn6 but loath fan 

The Contents. 

2, &c. 
^imitation for expressing our h4trea to 


consideration of what we are and hep e to 
will keeps us in good temper, pag. 328. 
Of Idolatry #3^111. 
The reafons of E^hmm^hatredcf Idolatry 

3 34*33 5> &c. " 

T^ idolatry ofChriftiavs^^&c. 
Thefctpeofthcncw covenant ^zg.^ 5, &c. 
Corpora/I aydfpirituall adultery j>psg. j 59 . 

wemuftnot have any more to doe with I- 

68,169, &c. 

Nothing loft by renouncing Idolatry^. 3 7^ , &c. ! 
Never better wit ha Chriftian then when he hath 
renounced all wicked courfe3^^, ^78^79, 
H ow God fees the afflictions of hi$ clnldren^g. \ 

meft comfortable creature in the exccffe 
Renouncing idoUtry brings frotectiw,psg.$86*\ 

here ^^9 1 . 
Themifery ofthofethathave #ot Godfcrajlu- \ 

Fromman comes nothing that tfgoottyp. 

Why fome have more grace then others^. 408-. 

There are but few truly 

> &c. 

The Contents. 


Worldly wife dome what it is, pag. 432, 433. 
True rwfdowe carries men to Gods nwdf,pa. 4.5. 
Cods wayesto ^,prg.44i,&c. 
The word of the Lor a perfect, pag. 445, 446^ 

The be ft way to a right end is to take in Gods 

r ho bejusi 0K*,pag.4 5 0,45 1 ? &C. 
fofttionofjujtmen^^.^ j, 
muft have fpirituAll life before they can 

Helps to 
VJnhj w 
473, &c. 

rvalktin Go4s 



: THE 






Olfrael, Returneunto the Lord thy God : Forthoti 

baft fallen by thine iniquity. 
Take with you words, and turn* to the Lord, fay twto 
bimjakeaway attimquity y &c. 

whole frame 

nejfc\**Myfterie y The A- 
poftle callerh it, <i ^^ 
<_Myfterie, comprehending 
all under thefe particulars: 
God w/u ntanifejttd in tb* 
flejb, luftiftd in the Sfirit, 
Seem of^Angds^ PreachtduntotkeGentiles : Be- 
leeved on in the world: received uf into Glory. 
^__ Amongft 

Sit. I 

The Returning Back/lider* 

Amongft which UUyfttries, this may well be 
the lMjffwM&fJU$a> God ***smmifeft 
in tkefrfh: which includeth alfo another -fl/y- 
fteriei The GratiMJbcjfe and abwdtnt tender 
Mercy of God cowards miferablc wretched and 
finnefull Creatures, even in the height of their 
Rebellion 5 appointing fuch a remedy to fteale 
them 5 which is the fubjeft of this Chapter, and 
laft part of this Prophecie : which, as it thun 
ders out terrible Judgements againft hardhear- 
ted impenitent finners: (fuch as were the moft 
paroflfrael) fo is it mingled full of many and 
fweet Confolations to the faithfull in thofe 
times, Mattered amongft the wicked troup of 
Idolaters then living. 

The time when Hofe* prophecied was under 
theReigneofr***4, lotbam, o^^Vand/fr- 
^ekiah Kings of ludab : and in the dayes of lero- 
bom, the fonne of loajh, King of Jfrael : In 
whofe dales Idolatry was firft univerfally fet up 
and countenanced by Rcgall power; This /<?. 
roboctm (whocaufedlfraeltofmne) that he might 
ftrengthen hirafelfe, made ufe of Religion and 
profanely mixed it with his civill affaires in car- 
nail pollicie, and fo leavened the whole lump 
of Ifrael with Idolatry, that fliortly after the 
whole ten Tribes for their fin, and their in- 
juftice, cruelty, luft, fecuritie, and fuch other 
fins as accompanied. and fp rang from this bru- 
tifli Idolatry, were led away captive by the King 
of Affyria, and the Lords righteous Judgement 
mademanifeft upon them, 

_____" There] 

The Returning Back/liefer. 

There being notwkhftanding amongftthefc 
feme faithfull ones though thinly fcattered 
who mourned for, and by their good example; 
reproved thefc abhominable courfes. There 
being alfo a feed of the Eleft unconverted, and 
of the converted fome that were carried down 
too farr in the ftrength of this ftreame of vvicked- 
ncflc. In "his Chapter therefore being the con- 
clufion of thisProphefie there are many excel 
lent and heavenly incouragements, alfo many 
earned incitements ro repentance and returning 
j to the Lord , with free and gratious proniif<& not 
only of pardon and acceptance, but of great 
rewards in things fpirituall and temporall to 
fuch-as fliould thus return*. 
O lfacl> Returnc uxto the Lord thy God, for 
thou httft fatten h thirie M ^J 

with you words, an A turneto the Lord^jr unto 
*y ailiniquity&c. 
In this Chapter. 

. Wee have an Exhortation to Repeat <wcc, 
with the Motives enforcing the fame. [ o 
jfi ad, Rcturne unto the Lord thy God.] V.i. 
. The Forme [Take with you words, and fay 
t #?otheLorl,&c.~] Ver.2. 
. A Reflif*latien> what they fhould doe and 
Riturnebackcagaine, having their Prayers 
granted. i.Th&kefeiving {_$9wdlrvertn- 
be Calves of o#rty.~] 2. Sound Reforma 
tion of their beloved (i^A^r^allnotfave 
;vith the Rea f on thereof; [Far in the 


4_. (700.! 


. The Returning Backfliden 

. Gods anfoer to their Petitions* i. Tn what 
Hee mil doe for them. {Hede their back fa 
ding. Love them freely : and be a* the Dem 
Hntolfrael} with the Rcafe* thereof, [For 
mine^Angtr it turned away from him~\ y 4 
2. What hcc will Worke in them: ^ pro 
yortiwable fteedie growth in height, bredth 
and depth: [_Hefiatl growasthe Lillic, An 
c*ft forth his rootes a^ Lda ^on^c. } Which 
Mercy Is further amplified 5 h 4 ble&nr 
Corned out 4f* upon their Families. {_rhf 
riat dwell rnder his fi^do* Ml returne 1 

5-. There is fee dovvnc a further effeftof this 
fcffrtwt, and gratious worke in them 
A found and ftrong well rooted IncJignatL 
on againft their former darling finnes [E 
Mmfiallfy, wbattuvelavy moretodoe 
with Idols?*] Backt with a y?^^- ConfoUtion* 
[ I have heard him, and observed him&t i 

6. The divers Event aad Iflbc of this Gods 
fo gratious dealing is ftcwcd : both in 
the^^and^rW. i.The Wr/?and/v- 
dwty under ft *nd and know, that the wayesof 
the Lord A re right, and ftall wMe in them 
But 2 . [The tranfgr effort fall fall therein 1 

Olfrael, Rtturne unto the L fr d thy God: hy 
thou haft fallen by thine Iniquity . . 

Every word hath his waighc, and in a manner 
j s an Argument to inforce this Reform **. 



The Returning Back/titter. 

O Jfrael ! 

Jfrael we know is a word of Covenant : 
was ifraelj a Prince and Wrejtlcr with God, ( as 
they alfo ought to be) Therefore he enforceth, 
you alfo ought to ^//w^becaufeyou are Jfrael. 
Acd 2 . It was alfo an Incouragement for rhem to 
Rcturne, becaufe God fo ackaowledgeth them 
to be Jfrael : and will be gratious unto them, 
though they were fuch hideous finners. 

Returns (faith he) imtt the Lord Ichovabwh* 
is thechiefe good ; for when a man reti^neth 
to the creature, which is a particular change 
able good unfatisfying the foule, he is rcftlefle 
ftill untill hee cotne unto lehovab, who is the 
all-fufficicnt univerfall good, who fills and fills 
the foule abundantly : therefore, Returns to 
him who ]&tht fittfitMne of all good, and giveth 
abeeingunto all things: and not to broken Ci- 
Jternes. Hec is lebovAh, like himfelfe and 
tb<tngeth not. And then He is thy God. Therc- 
forc Itww to him who is thy God in Covenant ^ 
who will make good his gratious Covenant 
unro thee, and did choofe theeto be kispeoflc, 
before all the nations of the world; this therefore is 
alfo an iMitragement to Rettirne. And then 

Thou baft fallen by thine Iniquity. 
Therefore becaufe thouart fallen by thy Ini 
quities, and thine own Inventions have brought 
thefe miferies upcvi thee, and none but God can 
helpcthec out of thefe mifcries, feeing he only j 
can, and is willing to forgive thy finncs, and 
revive thec : Therefore, 

B 2 



, The Returning Backfltden 

SJJRM. I- j Olfael, Returue unto the Lord thy God: for thott 
\ haft fallen bj thine iniquity . 

Now in that hee forewarneth them of the 
i fearefull Judgements to come, which were to 
I fall upon them, unlefle they were prevented bv 
true Repentance; hence in generall it is robe 

That God comes not as a fuddatne ftorme upon 
his people^ but gives them warning before hee 
fmites them. 

This is verified in Scripture: whenthecrieof 
10,11 Sodo&e and Gowerrah was great, The Lord fad, 
Becaufe the crj of Sodome and Gomorrah is great, 
and bee an fe theirfwne is very grievous : / wllgoe 
downe now and fee whether they have done altoge 
ther according to the cm oftt which i* come unto me^ 
andif not ,i will know. And wherefore was the 
^4rke of Nod fo long in building, buc to give 
warning to that finnefull age, which were no 
thing bettered by it. The like we have of Pha- 
nah, B and all the Egyptians, who had fo many 
warnings and miracles (hewed before their de- 
ftrudioncame. Thus God dealt in Amos: Ther- 
fcrethwwill idoettntothee^ andbecaufe I will doe 
this unto t hee i Prepare to meet thy Godo ifraell. 
O Hteritfalem, Bierufaltm (faith Chrift) thouthat 
hlleft the Prophets, and ft one ft them which arc fent 
unto thee^ how often would I have gathered -thy 
children together : even as a Henne gathmth the 
chickens under her wings and ye wouldno* ? What 
need wee ftand upon proofes? are not all 
the Thrcatmngs of Scriprure 3 as fo many 

Amos. 4. 1 2. 

The Returning Backflider. 

warning peeces of approaching Judgements. 
The Reafon hereof is, H is owne nature, he Is a 
God of long faff cring^ he made the world in fix 
day essyec hath continued it fix thoufand yearcs, 
norwithftanding the many finnes and provoca 
tions thereof,//^ mercies being over allhr* works. 
And partly, from a fyeciM regard to bis own 
deare children > thefe terrible rhrcatnings not be 
ing killing and wounding,6ut \\Velonathans war 
ning ArroweSjWho though he flior, yet ment no 
other harme to I><mW,favetoforewarne him of 

Let us therefore obferve Gods gratious and 
; milde dealing in fo much mercy, who giveth us 
fo many warnings by his fervants, and lefl er 1 
judgements ? which we have had amongft us^Let j 
us take notice and believe, fo as beliefe may 
ftirre up feare, and fcarc may provoke care, and j 
care ftirre up indeavours, to provide us an Arke \ 
even a hiding place betimes before winterand 
worfe times come upon us. 

Hrncc iflfueth another generall Point : That 
The beft provifien for -preventing ofdeftrtitfion 

God himfclfc is a Spirit 5 and fpiriruall means i 
reach unto him, who is the firft mover of the 
great wheele of all the affaires of this world: It 
is prepofterous to beginne at the f econd caufe, 
J we trouble our felves in vaine there, when we 
negledt thefirft. Wee iliould therefore begin 1 
the worke in Heaven, anc? firft of all, take up \ 
that quarrell which is bctwecnc God and owr j 

B 3 foules ! 







SERM.I. ; fpulcs: If this be done firft,we need not feare the 
Rom.8.i8. \ carriageof fecond things, all which God out of 
his good providence, and gratious care will 
frame to worke for good to his : for whole fakes 
(rather then helpefhouldfaile) he will create 
new helpes. Wherefore in all things it is beft to 
beginne with God. 

The third generall point, is this.- That 
ofallSpmtMll mtams, the 6ejl is to retarnete 
the Lord. 

Inthis neturmng,i. e rheremujtbeAftop . thofe 

irv nfjvr/* tnn r\r\ inaT>if! *r/I^. ._ n f s\ f 

In Returning 

There mu/t 

be aftop 

. e 

whahaverunoninevillwaies, tnuft firftftop 
their lewd courfes, for naturally from our birth 
and childhood wee are porting ontoHell 5 and 
yet fuch is our madncfle, (unle/Te the Spirit of 
God (hew us our fel ves ) to be angry with thefe 
who (land in our way. 

To make this/o/> then ( which is alwayes be 
fore mining) i. There muft be Examination 
and Consideration whether our wayes tend 
there be flopping Confederations, which both 
waken a man, and likewife put rubs in his way. 
t a man upon ExnwAtitn find his waies dif- 
plcafing unto God, difagreeing from the Rule, 
and tntftJtr what will be the end and iiTue of 
them, (nothing but death and damnation) and 
withall conftdtr of the day of Judgement, the 
houre of Death, the all-feeing eye of God 
and the like. So the Confideration of a mans 
owne wayes, and of Gods wayes towards him, 
partly when God meetes him withgoodncfle .- 
l**e httbmo kmt awle metcb -, and Cad hath 


bunt goodie me, aJft*redmc : and partly when 
God flops a wicked mans waies withthpmcs, 
meetes him with croflcs and affli&ions , 
thefe will worke upon an ingenious Ipirit to 
make him have better thoughts and deeper con- 
fiderattons of true happinefle and the way 
unto it. God puts into the heart of a man 
( whom he intends tofave) ferioas and fad con- 
fiderations, what eftate hee is in, whither his 
/ courfe leads > and withall hee lets them feelc 
I fome difpleafure of his towards them in tjjiofe 
waies, by his way es towards them, whereupon 
they make a flop. 

2. There muft be H&mfati**, with diftlea- 
\ furc againft ottrfelvcf , judging and taking revenge 

of our felves^ working and rtfletting on our hearts, 
taking fliame to our fclves, for our wayesand 
courfes. And withall, there nw{l concurrefome 
bofe of mercy : for,fo long as there is hue and crie 
(as we fay) after a Traitor, he returnes nor, but 
flyes (till and hafts away 5 but offer a pardon,and 
he returneth. So, unlefle there be hope of par 
don to draw a man againeto God,as \htProdigall 
was moved to Retnr#e by hope of mercy and fa 
vour from his father, we will not, we dare not 
elfc Returne. 

3. There muft be a Refolutien to overcome 
impediments, for when a man thinks or refolves 

I to turne to God, Satan will ftirre up all his in- 
ftruments, and labour to kill Chrift in his Infan- 
cic, and to quench good while it is id thepur- 
pofeonly, the Dragon flood watching for the 

B 4 Birth 



2. Humiliation 


Tbe Returning 


There is a 



\ 2 Cor. 5, 1 7, 

By our 


Birth of the Childe fo doth Satan obfervethe 
i birth of every good refolution and purpofe fo 
farre as he can know them to deftroy them. 

Let it be thought of by us in all our diftreffes 
and in whatfoever other evidences of Gods an 
ger, whether this meanes have bin taken up by 
us. Itwillbethusknownec 

i. Turning is a change of the poftureofthe 
body, fo is this of the frame of the mind, by 
this we know a man is inaftateofrurning, the 
looke of his Intentions, Purpofes, the whoic 
bent of his foule is fee another way, even upon 
God, and his Word is the ftarre of Direction 
cowards which he bend s all his thoughts. 

i.Hisfrefcnt affionsalfe be contrary to his firmer: 
there is not only a change of the difpofiuon of 
his foule : BdtfJ, all things are become mw. Not 
fome things but all, not* only new, but with a 
nttoldw*. This change undoubtedly flieweth 
that there is a true convcrfion and unfained. 

3. By our aflbciation, hethatturnestoGod, 
turnes prefently to the company of Gods people - to 
gether with the change of his nature and courfe 
of life, there is a change of company, that is of 
fuch as we make choice of for amity and friend- . 
ftip 5 other company by reafon of our callings, I 
and occafionally may be frequented. 

4. It is a fignc thatone is not only Tuynedfmi \ 
hath gone backwards from finne a great way 
when the things of Heaven only are great things 

i his eyes,for, ^ the further a man goeth from 
aplace, the Idler the things behind him fceine, 

._ fo 

The Returning Backjlidtr* 

fo the greater the things before, he being neerer 

i _ *T-U i A. ?oK1itv<a onrl hioli fhr\nohf<; 

to them. The more fublime and hkh thoughts 
a man hath of the way es of God,ancTthe meaner 
thoughts of the world and worldly matters he 
eftccmed fo highly of ia the day es of his vanity: 
the more he is Turned unto God . 

This Returning is further inforced, faying, 
urvcyunto the Lcrdthy Sod. 
It is very emphaticall and figmhcanc in the 
Original!, returne \_ufyueadlehovam~] even to 
lehovah, as though he fliouldfay, donor only 
beginne to Returns towards fcfaub *ut fo 
Rctrne, as you never ceafe coaming till you come 

t$ lebevafj. 

Even unto the Lord thy God. 
It if not enough to make a flop And forbeare the 
prattling of our firmer finnes : but we muft come 
\ l )0m [ even unto the Lord our God, to be pardoned 
and healed of him. 

The Prodtgallfonne^ had becne never a whit 
the better, to fee hisfinnc and mifery, atid to be 
rieved for his wicked life part, unlefle he 
nid come unto his father for Pardoznd Com 
fort. And when thofe were pricked in thei 
hearts at Peters Sermon, asking Peter what they 
fhould doc hee exhorted them, To Repent, 
every one to be BA}tifedwthe name of left** Chn ft, 
for the Rewfiony fates :. 4ndjothtyfiouldrecei<ve 
the Holy Ghoft. And when Chrift invites a 
thofe who are weary and betvy laden to come unto 
him ; he bids them nor now be forty r humbled 
and grieved for their finnes : but by fajrfi to 



SB KM. I. 



S E R M L 


The Returning Back/ltder. 

come unto him to be healed, and fo they fhould 
find reft and peace to their fouks. It is not fuf- 
ficient for a wounded man to. be forry for his 
brawling and fighting, and to fay he will fight 
no more : but he muft come to the Surgeon co 
have his wounds fl opt, dreflcd and healed, or 
clfe it may coft him his life : So it is not enough 
to be humbled and grieved for fin$and torefolve 
againft it: we fliall relapfe tgaine do what we can, 
unleffe we come under the wing of Chrift to be 
healed by his blood. 

MaAy think they have repented and are decei 
ved upon this falfe groundrthey are and have bin 
grieved for their fins and offences, are deter- 
minedto leave and forfake them, and thatisall 
they do,they never lay hold on Chrift and come 
home to God. 

F or thouh^fl fatten by thine Iniquity. 

Here divers points might be infiftcd on , 

i.fbat where there is a falling into finne, there 
mil be a falling into wijerie and]udgement. 

This is made good in the experience of all 
times ? ages>perfon5, and ftates; ftill the more fin- 
full any were,the more fearefull judgements fell 
upon themtand as foone as any man came into a 
finfullftatCj he entered into a declining ftate, as 
lawk faid of his fonne Reuben who had defiled 
his bed : unft able as water, Thoujkalt not excell^ 
becaufe tbou went eft up to thy fathers bed. So finne 
ftill debafeth a man : fo much fin, fo much lofTe 

The Ufe hereof is firft againft thofe, that 

The Returning Backflider* 

complainc of their troubles and miferies, as 
though God and men had dealt hardly with 
them, whereas their owne wayes indeed have 
brought all thefe evtlls upon them, God is a 
diffident wife and holy difpofer and orderer of 
all the wayes of men 5 and rewarder of good 
and evill doings s God being wife and juft in 
his difpofing of all things, it muft needs follow, 
that it fhall goe well with thofe that arc good $ 
as the Prophet fpeakes ; Say unto the juft, that it 
(ball he weS with them ; for the reward of their 
writes Jkell be given them.Md if it fall ou^other- 
wayes then well with men> the blame muft be 
laid on their owne finne. As the Church con- 
fefleth , and therefore refolveth : / will beare 
the indignation oftheLtrd^ becaufe 1 have finned 
ag^njlhim^ untill he plead my caufe^ and execute 
judgement for me : he will bring me forth in the 
light 5 and 1 frail fee his Right eoufnejft. If^dam 
finnc he ihall find a Hell in a Paradice, if Paul 
rcturne and returne to God he fliall find a Hea 
ven in a Dungeon. 

It flwttld mvc us therefore to feeke unto God 
by twfttined Repentance to have our finnes taken 
,away and fardoned, or elfe, howlbcver wee 
may change our plagues , yet they fhall 
not be taken away, nay wee (hall ftill ( like 
Pharoah ) change for the worft , who though 
he had his judgements changed : yet finne, the 
caufe remaining, he was never a whit the betrcr, 
btK the worfe for changing, untill his finall 
mine came, 



Lam .3 . 






The wages of fmm i$ Death, Sinne will crie 
till it hath its wages. Whtre Iniquity is, there 
cannot tut befalling into judgement. Therefore 
they are cruel! to their owne foules, that walke 
in evill waves, for undoubtedly God will 
turne their owne way es upon their owne heads. 
Wee fhould not therefore envie any man ( be 
heewhat he will) vvhogoeth on in illcourfes, 
feeing fome judgement is owning him firftor 
laft, unlefle he flop the current of Gods wrath 
by Repentance. God in much mercy hath fet 
up a Court in our hearts to this end, that if we 
judge our felves in this inferiour Courr, we may 
efcape, and not be brought up into tHe higher : 
if firft they be judged rightly in the inferiour 
Court, then there needs no review. But 
otherwife, if wee by Repentance take not up 
the matter, finne muft be judged feme where, 
either in the Tribunal! of the heart and con- 
fcience, or clfc afterwards there muft be a 
reckoning for it. 

Thirdly, hence we learhej fince the caufe 

of every mans imferie is his owne firne that 

therefore all tfo fower of the world, and of Hell, 

^cannot keepe a man in miffr?*, mr hinder him 

jromcomfort anJLbaffim^ tf he will fart with his 

\finnes brtriieandunfahud^efentance^ PS we know 

j tJManaffes, as fooncas he put away fin the Lord 

had mercy upon him, and turned his captivity. 

1 So the people oflfratll in the Judges, looke how 

often they were humbled and returned to Gqd^ 

ftill he forgave them ail their fins,, as foone as 


The Returning Backflider* 

they put away finnc, God and they met againe. 
So that, if we come to Chrift by true Repen 
tance, neither finne nor punifhment can cleave 
to us. 

Tbo* I. aft J alien &c. 

Fatten blindly as ic were, thou couldeft not 
fee which way thouwenteft, orto what end thy 
courfcs did tend, therefore thou art corceinto 
inifery, before thou knoweft where thou ait. 
A finner is blind, the god of this world hath 
put out his eyes, they fee not their way, nor fore- 
fee theij jtiicaflo. The Divcllis ever f8rour 
falling, thanve fallinto firtne,. and then fall into 
mifery, andfo fallirtfodefpaire, and intone!!, 
this plcalcth him. Caft thy felfe downe, faith 
hee :o -(Shrift, do.wne with it, downc with it, 
^it!i -B^,Hcll is bcneath,the Diy ell drives all 
that way. 

Take heed of finne, take heed of blindnefle, 
ponder the path of your feet v keepe -your 
thoughts |^^y^)-\vai^, flop jfce . beginnings, 
the fi,ft ftumViings, pray to God to make our 
way plginc before us> and not to lead us into 

Ver.2. Take with you* words > Andturne to the 
\ - L erd fay Htttohim&t. 

Thcfe Israelites were but a rude people, and 
had not fo good meanes to thrive in grace, as 
ludab had : Therefore he prompts them here 
with fuch words as rhey might ufe to God in 
their returning. [Take with you words ^] whereby 








S E R M . I. 

The Returning Ba&flider. 

Cor f 

G&d is witting 
to be* at peace 
with us* 

we fee how gratious God is unto us, in ufing 
uch helps for our recovery, and piccying us 
more then wee pitty oar felves. Is not this a 
ufficienc warrant and invitation to returns, when 
ic party offended who is the fuperiour, defires, 
ntreats, and fucs unto the offending, guilty in- 
eriour to be reconciled* 

But this is not all, hce further flieweth his 
willingneffe in teaching us who are ignorant of 
he way > in what manner and with what expre 
ions we fliould returne to the Lord. He gi veth 
us not onely words and tells us whatweefhall 
*ay,but alfo givcth his Spirit fo effedually there 
with, as that they (hall not be liveleffeand dead 
wordes, but (as Rom. 8.26.) with unexpreffible 
ighes and groaoes unto God 5 who hcareth the 
requefts of his ownc Spirit. Chrift likcwife 
teacheth us how to pray, we have words dil 
ated, and a fpirit of prayer powred upon us. 
As if a great Pcrfon fhould di&ateand frames 
Petition for one who were affraid to fpeake 
unto him. Such is Gods gratioufnefle, andfo 
ready is hee in Jefus Chrift to receive finners 
unto mercy. 

Take unto you wordcs. Nofie were to appeare 
empty before the Lord at lerttfalem^ but were to 
bring fomething. So it is with us, we muft not 
appeare empty before our God, If we can bring 
nothing elfe, let us bring wordcs, yea though 
broken wordes, yet if out of a broken and con- 
trite heart, it will be a facrifice acceptable. 
This fame taking of wordes or petitions in all 


Ihe Returning Backflider \ 

our troubles and afflictions, muft needs be afpe- 
ciall remedie, it being of Gods ownc prefcrip- 
tion, who is fo infinite in knowledge and skill: 
whence we obferve, That 

They who would have helpe and comfort Again ft 
allfinnesandforrowes^ muft come to God with words 
ef prayer. 

As wee fee in Iwabs cafe in a matchlefle 
diftrcflfe, words were inforcive and did him 
more good then all the world befides could : 
for after that hee had bin humbled and prayed 
out of the whales belly 3 the whale wjs farced 
to caft him out againe. So tke Prodigall fonne 
beeing undone, having neither credit, nor 
coyne, but all in a manner againfthim$ yet 
hee had wcrds left him. Father, ihave finned 
againft Heaven and before thee : and am no more 
worthy t$ hee called thy fcnne, make mce as one 
of thy hired (crvants. After which his father had 
companion on him- And good HcZekiah, being 
defperately ficke, of a defperate difcafe, yet 
whenheefet his faithaworke, and tookewith 
him words (which comfort onely now was 
left unto him ) wee know how after hee had 
turned his face towards th. wall and prayed 
with words, God not only healed him ofthat 
dangerous difeafe , but alfo wrought a great 
miracle fcr his fake, caufing \hzSunne to come 
\>zcVz ten degrees. Thus when lifcfcemed im- 
poiTible : yet words, prayers, and tcares pre 
vailed with God. IttojbAphat alfo, going to 
warre with i^ihab^ againft Gods commaru! 

dement S 




Chro. 1 8. io 


M. I. 

iamcs. j. 




King, 1 5. 

Returning Back/ltdtr, 

dement, and in the battell being encornpafTed 
with enemies: yet had words with him ready 
and after prayer found deliverance. Eliah,like- 
wife after a great drowth and famine> when rainc 
had bin three yeares wanting:and all in a manner 
out of frame for a long time : Tooke with him 
words : and God fent raine abundantly upon the 
earth againe. 

The Rcafonist becaufc Prayer fets God on 
worke, and God who is able and willing to go 
through with his works, fets all the creatures 
on werke. As we heard ofMliab, when hee 
prayed for raine, the creatures were fet a worke 
to effe&it. Where it may be Obje&ed, O but 
raine might come tod late in that hot Countrie, 
where all the Rootes and Herbes might bee 
withered and dried up in three yeares fpacc, 
Yet all was well againe, the land brought 
forth her increafe as formerly $ for faithfull 
Prayer never comes too late 5 becaufe God can 
never come too late, if our prayers come to 
him, we (hall find him come to us. lehofoaphat 
we read was in great diftrefle when three Kings 
cameagainft him, yet when hee went to God 
by unfained and hearty fafting and prayer, 
God heard him, fought for him, and deftroyed 
all his enemies. The Scripture fheweth alfo 
how after Hezekiahs prayer againft Senachnhs 
blafphemies and threstnings : the Lord fent 
forth his Angell and deftroyed in one night 
a hundred fourefcore and five thoufand of the 




is firft fir Rcfroofe of tbofe 
their diftrefles fct their wi 


who in 

wit, wealth, friends, 
and all a worke, but never fct God aworke, 
did in Senacheribs cafe. The 

as / 

firft time hec turned him off to his coft with 
enduring a heavie taxation, and yet was ne 
ver a whit the better for it; for Sermche- 
rtb camcfhortly after and befieged HicruJaUm, 
untill fiezekiah had humbled himfelfe and 
prayed: and then God chafed all away and 
deftroycd them ; he had better have done fo 
at firft, and fo faved his money and pfiines 
too. The like weakenefle we have a proofeof 
in o^/4: who when a greater Armic came a- 
gainfthimof ten hundred thoufand men, laid 
about him, Prayed and Truftcd in God, and 
fo was delivered, with the deftru&ion of his 
enemies; yet in alerter danger, againft Ba*Jh* 
King of Ifraely diftrufted God ; and fent out 
the Treafures of the houfe of God, and of 
his ownc houfe unto Bcnhadtd King of Syria , 
to have hclpe of hini, by a diverting warre 
againft B/iafha King of Ifwl, which his plot 
though it profpercd, yet was hee reprooved 
by the Prophet Htnani, and warrcs thence 
forth denounced againft him. This ^fa not- 
withftanding this experiment afterwards 
fought unto the Phyfitian, before he fought un-; 
to God. 

Secondly, This bUmeth that bayrennefft and 
want of words togoe unto God, which for want 
of hearts wee often find in our felves. It were a 
C ftrangc 


i King. 18. i ^ 




What makes a 
bold beer. 


I lohn 1.9. 

Returning Back/litter* 

Irangc thing to 1 fee a wife have words c-S 
nough for her maids and fervants : and yet not j 
o be able to fpeake to her husband. Wee allj 
profefle to be the Spoufe of Chrift, what a | 
ftrange thing then is it, to be full when wee 
fpeake to men, yet be fo empty and want words 
to fpeake to him. A begger we know wants 
no words 5 nay, he aboundeth with variety of 
expreifions, and what makes him thus fruitful; 
in words: his neceifityand in part his hope of ; 

Tifcfetwo make beggers foearneft.So would j 
it be with us, if we found fufficiently our great 
need of Chrift$ and therewith had hope, it would 
embolden us fo to goto God in Chrift, that we 
fhould not want words: but wee want this hope 
and the feeling of our neceffities, which makes 
us fo barren m prayer. 

Prepare thy felfetherfore to prayer by getting j 
unto thee a true fenfeoftby need: acquaintance^ 
with God,and hope toobtM&e,md it will make thee 
fervent in prayer, and copious in thy rcqucfts. 

Thirdly, this is/?r ConfolMon^ though one 
fhould want all other meanes, yet whatfocver 
their mifery be, if they can take words, and can 
pray well,they fhall fpeeci well. If the mifery be j 
forfin.confcffe it, and ask pardon for it>and they 
{hall have it, and be cleawfed from all uwighteouf- \ 
neffe. Words fetch the com fort to us, though it 
be the biood ofchrift cnely that luth pad the 

The eml if the frtf Sermon. 




Hos, 14.2. 

Take vithyott ^ords^nd turneto the Lord, 
fay unto him take avay allimqHity and re- 
cefte ttsgratioujly> fovill JM render the 
Cahes of our lips. 

S wee loft our felves in the 
firft ^A^m 5 (o the mercy 
of God in the Covenant 
of Grace found out a way 
to reftore us agaiBc by the 
fecond ^4 dam Jefus Chrift, 
v^nf&v^r^^ir in whom all the Promifes 
art yea wd\^lmen, yefterday and no day, andtht 
Came for ever. And as the wifdome of God 

C 2 



bring words 
with us though 

The Returning Backflidcr. 

did freely find out this way at firft comforting 
our firft Parents with it in ParacKce : fo this! 
bowells of incomprehenfible love of his, hach j 
fo gon on from time in all ages of the Church, | 
comforting and raifing up the dejected fpirits | 
of his Church from time to time, and awake- j 
ning them out of their drowfineffe and (leepiej 
condition. And many times the, greater finners 
he dealt with, the greater mercies and tender! 
bowells of compafiion were opened unto them,] 
in rrjany fweet and gracious promifes tendering j 
forgiveneflc,and inviting to Repentance, as here j 
in this Chapter and whole Prophecie is (hewed: ; 
what Tribe fo wicked, fo full of Idolatry and j 
Rebellion as Ephraim, and yet here Ephrtitm and 
ifwl are taught a leflfon of Repentance : as the 
tender Nurfe feeds her childe and puts meate in i 
its mouth, fo here the Lord puts words in the 
mouth of this Rebellious people. 

Take withy M, words Andturne unto the Lord. 

What neede God words, hee knowes our i 
hearts before we fpeake unto him ! 

Its true,God neede ao words, but we doe, to I 
ftirre up our hearts and affe&ions: and becaufe! 
he will have us take fliamc unto our felves; ha 
ving given us our tongues as an inftrument of j 
glorifying him, he will have our glory ufed in I 
ourPetitions and Thankesgivings : and there- 
fore,in regard of our fclveSjhe will(as was faid) 
have us take words unto our felves ; for exciting 
ofthe gracesof God icvus by words, blowing 
yp of the affections , and for inanifeftation ofthe 


The Returning Back/Iider. 

hidden man of the heart : God will be glorified 
by the outward as well as by the inward man. 
Turne to the Lord. 

He repeates the exhortation of Returning, to That words 
fliew, that words mufl not be empty, but fucb as %$%% 
are joyned with a purpofe of turning to God: for 
other wife to turne to him with apurpofetolive 
in any fin, is the extremity of prophane impu 
dence 5 to com*e to aske a pardon of the Ki/?g, 
iwith a refolation to livp {till in Rebellion a- 
gainft him, what is this but mockery, as if one 
(hould come with adiggto flnote him.Stich 
is our cafe, when we come to aske forgivenefTe 
with apurpofe to offend. It is the extremity of 
prophanencflfetoc^meco aske a pardon, tothe 
intent that we may fin fiill : therfore he repeals 
icag^ine^T^^ unto you words > and turne to thz-j 
Lord. The forme is, 

Take away all iniquity, and receive u* gracloufly^ 
or (Doe good to us) So will werender the Calves 
of our lips. Wherein we have 

A Petition^ T To ta ^ e * }va ** a ^ * c t utt y* 
i 2 .To receive themgratioujly . 

2. kReftipulation^ or promifeof thankfull- 
nefTe backengaine to the Lord : So will we render 
the Calves of our lips. So that wee may obfcrvc 

What Cod will grant MJ be will have m aske of ] 
him : yet for, ill theft things I will be fought unto of 
thzhouftoflfraely lakh God: bccaufe he will 
have us acknowledge our homage anddepen- 
dance upon him : therefore we muft aske what 

C ? he 

how it is to be 
done^nd unto 


Mark, 1 

Tbe Returning Backflider. 

ie hath purpofed to give. Take way all iniquity, \ 
c. where there is an implication of a cor. | 
flion of their fins and great iniquities: Take\ 
way iniquity - y and Take away all iniquity that \ 
, our maaifold guilr. So before Petition thereof 
mutt fa a free and full Cwfcfiw, as was fhewsd 

Now this Confcffion here, -is made to;God, 
nd to God onely (faith ^Austin in this cafe) 
kcaufe it is a point in controvert, it is good 
oheare what the Ancients fay. There area cu- . 

& fort of men, who are buficto fearch into 
ot her mens lives, andarecareleffe in amending 
heir own. Saith he, What have I to doe with men 
a be are me cwftfftjvhen I have offended Ged : wee 
nwfl confeffe t& God> and to God onely. But in fome 
cafes there may be publique and private Con- 
fefllonto men. Publique ? in publique offences 
for the fatisfadiion of the Church and the glory 
of God, for preventing of fcandall. Private, to 
Minifters for the quieting of confcience : but 
this is onely in fome cafes 5 mengoe nottothe 
Chirurgcon (as the Papifts would have it) for 
every little prick of their finger. No, but ye 
in fome cafes it is good to open the matter to a 
Minifter who hath the tongue of the learned:bii 
the finne is toward God, againfthim; heoncl] 
being able to forgive finnes, as \hzPhari (ecs con 
fcffed, None can forgive fmnes but G&d^ the Pa 
pifts therefore herein are worfc then the Phari 

The Petition is, Take away iniquity, and all 


The Returning Backflider. 

is frayc 


foule aff are 


intqwtj. Why all? becaufe where there is any SBR. II. 
true goodneffe in the heart, that hatred which 
carries the bent of the fculeagainft one finne, is 
alikeagainftall (asl (hewed)and theDlvell car- 
riesthoufands to hell by this partiall obedience; 
becaufe he knowes at any time where to have 
fuch. God and apnrpofeto finne will not ftand 
together, nor dwell in a heart that allowes it felf 
jin any fin, beit never fo fmall. He faith, Take 
laway all, becaufe the Spirit of Godworkesina 
irnan renewed fuch a difpofition of fincerify to 
j hate all alike. 

Secondly, he faith, Take away all iniquity, 
becaufe the heart which defires to be atpeacc 
with God, defires alfo to be dike God, who 
hates allfinae: therefore (faith the fan&ified 
foule) forgive all fin, Take all away >that I may 
have nothing in me difpleafing untothee : I de- 
fire to joy ne with the Lord, to hate what he ha- 
teth,and as he hateth, to carrie a perfeft hatred 
to the whole \dndc.Takcaway all iniquity, hatred 
is not fatisfied, but with the utter abolifhing of 
the thing hated. Therefore it hath this extent 
here, Take away all fitly both the guilt and the 
reigne of every fin, that none may rule inmce, 
nay, by little and little purge out all : Takeaway 
iniquity , and the traine of all which irdrawes 
after ir, Judgements. Take away iniquity 5 that is, < 
forgive the fin, and overcome the power of it 
by fanftifying grace,and remit the judgements 
ascending it. 

C 4 Take 


Becaufe a 
neweA/oule <U- 
f res to be Ufa 

The Returning Backflider. 


Sinne Itatefufl 
to a conscience 



Take if away. 

That is, take away the guilt of it utterly by 
ardon, and the remainders thereof by fan- 
dify ing grace, fo as the Spirit may rule and be 
all in ail in us. They fee finne is an offenfive 
hing a and there fore they fay, Take it away, as! 
an offenfive odious thing, and as a burden. For! 
[lowfoever it be fweet as honey in the commie- 
ing it, afterwards when the confcience is 
throughly awaked it is moft offenfive and bit-: 

r^fo as in this cafe, a (inner would gladly; 
run from his owne confcience, and from him- 
felfe, run any where from the tormenting and 
racking thoughts of confcience awaked: and 
withall hates the place where it was committed, 
and the company with whom, yea the thoughts 
of theni,as \Ldhfolom hated Thamar after hee had 
lyen with her, fo a finner awaked from fin^hates 
what hee formerly loved. As good men love 
thecircumftancesof any thing which puts them 
in mind of any good they have done, loving 
both place and perfon. So it is with a finner 
when his confcience is awaked, he hates all 
things which puts him inmindeof hisfins,ther- 
fotCtTakeitaway, forgive it, cafticinto the bot- 
tomeofthe Sea,blot it out of thy remembrance;, 
cover it, impute it not, ill which phrafcs fhcw a 
taking away.. 

Therefore, I befeech you, let us examine our! 
{elves hcreby,whethcr our dc/ire of forgivcncflc r 
be found or not, if we defire fin (hould be taken ! 
away, we cannot thhike of it with comfort. For ) 


The Returning Back/lider. 

n that many thinkc with delight of their old 
ins what doc thcyeifc, but repeatc them over 
ioiine and againe? butwherethe heart is found- 
V touched with a faving fcnfc of finne ; O then 
ic cries Take it away, Take it out of my con- 
citnce that it caufc not defpaire there, and out 
3 f thy remembrance,that no advantage be taken 
aeainft me fork. T&itxtfa But it is no other- 
wife taken away then by. fatisfying of divine 
iuftice How much are we beholding to Chnft 
therefore,who hath borne and taken away oui 
fins, (and as the Scape- goate) gonavvay^vith 
the burden of all into the wildetnefie of obli 
vion. Blefled be God, and the Lamb of Go, 
that take s away the finnes of the world. We can 
never blefle God too much nor fufficiently fo 
Chrift. Sleffed be Ged the Father of ear Lord fe 
(its drift. Now wee may thinke of (In with 
out frame and defpaire: O bleffed ftate, whe 
a man can thinke of his former odious and hi 
thy loathfome finnes, and yet not defpaire : Be 
caufe whenhebeleevesin Chrift, the blood o 
Chrift purgcth all away, takes away all fin. H 
ha h takenthem away. 

You fee here in the firft place, they pray fo 
thctaking away of their iiiiqui-.y, fortakeawa 

t his,and sll other mercicsfollow after : becau 
th^s onely is it which flops the cutrew of Gods 

favours, which remooved, the cumnt of his 

mercies runamaine. As when the clouds are 
i cone, the Sun (hincsout: So let our finnes be 

-emooved, and Gods favour immediately 



Convert fr 
begf mercv 


The Returning Backjlider. 

hinesuponus.Thercfore &R,Takeaway all ini 
quity and then we (hall fee nothing but thy Fa- 
hcrlyfaceinChrift. You fee what the care of 
Gods children is to feeke mercy and favour in 
the firft place: zsDavid, Pfat.ji.i.Have mercy 
on me,o Lord: this he begs firft of alh whereas 
God had threatned other terrible judgements, 
as thatthefword fliould rever depart from his 
ufe ; e^. yet he neglefts all (asitwerej and 
i>egs onely for mercy, to take away iniquity. For, 
a (inner is never in fuch a bleffed condition as he 
(hou^d be in, untill he prize and defire mercy 
above all 5 becaufe though we be in mifery,un- 
tillthen (withfinfull Efhraim) #0/7.14. wee 
howle upon our beds for corne and wine, pre 
ferring earthly fenfuall things before all. But 
that foule and confcience which is acquainted 
with Godandthcodioufneffeof fin, that foule 
God intends to fpeake peace unto in theend 3 de- 
fires pardon of finne and mercy above all, for it 
knowes that God isgoodnetfc it felfe, and that 
when the interpofing clouds are vanifhed, God 
cannot {hew himfelfe otherwife, then in good- 
nefle,graceand mercy. Take away all iniquity. 

Before I goe f urthcrjet me anfwer one Qje- 
ftion. ought wee not to tbinke of our former 
finnes^ fhall God take \hern away altogether out of 
the foule ? O no ! Take them away out ofthe 
confcience O Lord that it doe not accufe for 
them, bur not out of the memory : it is good 
that finne be remembred, to humble us,tomake 
us more thankful!, pitifull and tender-hearted; 


The Returning Back/lidtr. 

untoothcrs,toabafeusandkeepeus low all the 
daics of our Iife 5 and to make us deale gently and 
mercifully with others being fenfible of our 
own frailties. As they are naught in the confci; 
ence,fo they are good to the memoiy. Therforc 
letusthink often ofthis, what the chiefedcfire 
of our foules to God fhould be for mercy 9 to 
have fin taken away. In allthe Articles of our 
Creed, that of cheefeft comfort is> That of Re- 
mi/ion 0f fas. Wherefore are all the other Arti 
cles of Chrift 3 his Birth, Death, and Crucifying, 
but that he might get the Church, and thsJ the 
priviledges thereof might be>FcrgiveneJfcoffins y 
Refarreftion of the Body, and Life evtr lasting: but 
Forgiveneffeoffas is in the firft place. 

But may fome fay^How fliall I know whether 
or no my fins be forgiven * 

1. Ityfomething that goes before. 

2. By fomerhirg which followes after. 
There is fomewhat which goes before, viz. 

r. ^n humble and be arty Covfefion, as i loh.i.g. 
if wee confeffe our finncs, hee is faitbfaH and juft 
to forgive us eur fws^and to clean fe wfrom alltin- 
right eoufaffe : therefore, whether 1 feele it or 
nor,iflhaveheartily/ully, and frelyconfcfled; 
my fins are forgiven. God in wifcdome and 
mercy may fufpend the feeling thereof, for our 
iTiiliation, and for being over-bold with Sa- 
tans baites 5 yet I ought to bcleeve it,for I make 
God a lierelfe, if iconfcfle heartily, and ac 
knowledge my debr,to thinke thathe hath not 
cancel d the bond. 


Anfiv. \ 

i. By an hurt> 


When we finde 
ftrengtb a- 
int it. 

Some peace of 

The Returning Backflider. 

love to God 

Secondly, finis cercainely pardoned, when 
a man finds ftrengthagainft it, for where God 
forgives, he gives ftrength withall : as to the 
man whom he healed of the Palfie, Thy finncs 
are forgiven thee, take up thy bed and walke* 
When a man hathftrengthto returneto God,to 
run the way of his CommandcmentSa and to go 
on in a Chriftian courfe, his finncs are forgiven, 
becaufe he hath a Spirit of faith to go on and 
leadehim forward (Kit Thofe who find no 
ftrength of grace, mayqueftion forgiveneffc of 
fins, v for God where he takes away fid, and par 
dons it (as we fee here in this Tcxt,aftcr prayer 
made tQtakeaway iniquity) he doth good to us. 

The third evidence is, fome peace of Con- 
fcience^though not much perhaps, yet fo much 
as fupports us from dcfpaire, as Row.j-i.There- 
fore being jttftifieJ by faith, me have peace with 
Go&througk our Lord lejus Chnft, that is, being 
acquitted from our fins by faith>we have peace 
with God : fo much pcace^ as makes us goe 
boldly to him : fo thac one may know his bonds 
are cancePd and his fins forgiven, when with 
fome boldneflfe hedare looke God in the face in 
Jefus Chrift. A ludas^ an Acbitofhett, a 5^/,bc- 
caufethey are in the guilt of their finnes cannot 
confeiTe comfortably and go to God: which 
when with fomeboldndfe we can do,it is a figne 
that peace is made for us. 

Againe,whcre fin is pardoned, our hearts will 
be much inlarged with love to God, as Chrift 
faid to the woman, Luke 7.47. Her fiants which 


The Returning Backflidcr. 

are many, arc forgiven btrfacAitft free loved much. 
Therefore, when wee find ourhs/rrs inflamed 
with love to God, we u.ay know that God hath 
(Lined upon our fouksin the pardon of iinne, 
and proportionally to our meafure of love, is 
our aflurance of pardon, therefore wecfhould 
labour for a greater meafure thereof, that our 
hearts may be the more inflamed in the love of 
God, It is impoffible that the foule {hauld at 
all love God angry, offended,and unappeafed, 
nay, fuch a foule wiflieth that there were no 
God at all,for the very thoughts thereof t/rrir 
fie him. 

Againc, where finne is forgiven, it frames the 
foule fuetably to be gentle, mercifull and to 
pardon otheis, for ufually thofe who have 
peaceable confciences themfelves, arc peace 
able unro others, and thofe who have forgive- 
nefle of fins, can alfo forgive others 5 thofe who 
have found mercy, have mercifull hearts,fhew- 
ing that they have found mercy with God, And 
on the contrary, hcc that is a cruell mercileffc 
man, it isafignethat his heart was never war 
med ftor melted with the fenfe of Gods mercy 
inChrift. Therefore, **tfxEle&*fGui (faith 
the Apoftle) put on bowels of companion : as you 
will make it good that you are the Eled of God, 
members of Chrift, and Gods children.. 

Therefore, let us labour for the forgivencfle 
of ourfinnes, that God would rempove-and 
fubdue the power of them, take them away and 
the judgements due to them, orelfe we aiebut 



By mercifullnes 
to otberf> 

Their mftra-. 
ble condition 



r r ,-r^wiecnjoyedilltheplc*. 

tea of t!ie worid,which to a woridly man a*c 
bat like the libeoyoftbe Tower to t condem- 
T who tho^h hee hare all wants 
ied, T/kh all poffib!-: attendance : yet 
bctbmkejof hiseftate, irmaktshis h 

^ * * 

7r - ^armJoortanktrd-bearcT aniber- 
HOj^PP^ - ; who would nor char 

c *"^* ri * J fii, So it iswkh a man that hath 
ftpyoed ooc his pardon nor is at peace with 
Goa; be hath nocorafott fo long as be knor 
h fins arc on the file, that God in heaven is 
not at peace with him> who can arme all tke * 
Crefcures ageinft him to be revenged of him : 
m which cafe, who dull be Umpire bctvr! 

M us, if we take notcp the controverfic 
l^^i** Wm aod c ts.Therefbrc it being 

-wfleof finnes; it fhould makeosben<rv-r 
an hoi quicr * ? JtV c gotten it ; feeing the 
mpoftbii life, wherein there is but a 
ftep betwixt Hell, Damnation and us. There 
fore, f u#o Gcx?, plic him with broken and 
humble hearts, that he would pardon all the f 
ot<**yoiirhafid after age, knowne andun. 
too wne,that he would pardon all wfcttfoevc 
Tike a##t AU iniquity, 

ForfokisintK Ongioall, bat it is all one, 

***gr***fo, wddo ?Mdto w. All the 

Ktecfle wee have from f . oat of his 

TkRa*ni*g Btckflidtr. 


grace, from his free grace and goodnefle, all 
grace, every Ilalcthing from God is grace: as 
we fey of favm v e-d 01 pcrfaw.| 

this is his grace, hisf-vourj fornisisarefped 
which is p::: upon all things which we receive 
ftomGovi (when wee jreuj Covenant^ all is 
ous. Take we the words as they arc (the 
moreplaine) in . : .ginall. T.& guJ> &j 

Jte focJ t$ u< : take good out of thy Trctfutc 

^ood to us, beftow up- 
^ood. Firft, Tw JWAJ **r MW 
: take good OIK of thy bouJty 
vJJtegtodtstts, whence wcfee, 
- Gods mercy t* fo ckildr< u 


For he takes away ill, and doth good, men 
may pardon but withal they think that they have 
dene wondrous bountifully wheo they have 
pardoned, but Gods goes further, hee takes 
r.w.iy ill and doth good: takes good out of his 
For .:nd doth good ro us. 

Therefore let us ouke this ufe of ic, to be e 

courasred when we have thehrftbleftlngof all 

^ivencfie of finncs) to goe to him for more 

and more, and gather upon God further anc 

caufe hee is a Fountainc ot 

.iqcffe that can never be drawne drir, hee 

oufiy pleafed with this. Wee cannot 

honour him more then by nuking uic.of his 

: tie of finoe^ and of his j 
: ;n fv.r ic, and having 

.> in iasgoodadle* gv^- 

him 1 

r^-. :. ".. 



Thatgood is 
the load- ft one 


Tkat God a 
pearet to bee 
good onely to 

The Returning Backflidtr. 

rim for more. Lord, thouhaftbcgun,makcaa 
nd, thou haft forgiven my finnes, I want this 
nd that good, together with the pardon of my 
finnes doe mee good. Receivers gratioujly : or, 
dee us good. Now good is the load- ftone of the 
foule, the aura&ive that drawes it, therefdre 
(after Forgivenefle of finnes) he faith, doe good. 
The Petition is eafie, God will foone grant it> 
"or nothing elfe interpofeth betwixt God and 
us, and makes two, but finne ; which being re- 
mooved,heisall goodncffe and mercy. \^dlL bis 
re mercy *nd truth. Yea even his fliarpeft 
waicsare meicy,all mercy ; when fin is forgi 
ven, there is goodneffe in all, in the grcateft 
crofle and affliction. Doe good tow. 

The foule wee fee defire$flfc/> and needs 
It is a tranfcendcnt word here, and muft 

Mat- 7 

be underftood according to the taftc of Gods 

people, of afancftified foule. Dee good, efpcci- 

ally doc fpirituall good to us, together with the 

forgivenefle of finnes, give ustherighteoufnefle 

of Jcfus Chriftj fandifying grace, fuch good, 

as may make us good firft ; for the defire muft 

be fuch as the perfon is who makes it. Wicked 

men (as it is faid of Balaam) have good gifts, 

without the good God: but we muft not be fo 

pleafed with gifts, unlefle wee be good our 

fclves,and fee God making us good. Can an evill 

tree bring forth goodfrmt ? Therefore the Apo- 

ftle calls the regenerate perfon Gods workew* 

fhif,&c. We are Gods good worke, and then 

wee doe good workcs, being made good 

i? a 

The Returning Back/litter. 

good comss from us. Doe good ton*. 

It is an acknowledgement of their owne 
emptinefTe, Dot good to M. Wee are blindc in 
ourownc undcrftandings, iolightenus; we arc 
perplexed, fet us right; we are dull, quicken 
us 5 we arc empty, fill us, we are darke, fliine 
upon uss we are ready to goe out of the way, 
eftablifh us 5 every way doe good to us fuita- 
i ble to our wants. The beft that we can bring 
tothee isemptinefle, therefore doe thoudoe 
goodtous, fill us with thy fullneflTe. Doe gpod 
to us every way whereby thouufcft to convey 
fpirituall things to thy fervants foules : give us 
firft thy grace, thy Spirit, which is the fpring 
of al good things 5 for the Spirit of God is a 
Spirit of dire&ion, offtrength, of comfort, and 
all : therefore he who hath the Spirit of God 
hath the fpring of all : that isbeg d in the firft 
place. And then give us good Magiftrates to 
rule us well ; andgood Minifters, who are the 
difyenfersofgrace^nfhuments of our falvaticn, 
the Conduit-pipes whereby thou deriveft and 
convey eft good to us 5 when thou haft made us 
good^continuethe mcanes of falvation for our 
good c very way. The Church when (he faith, 
Doe good to w ,ha:h a 1 irge dcfire ; here be feeds 
of wondrous large things in thefe two fhort pe 
titions, Take away all inqtiityyAnAdogwdto us. 
A Bono DeQj&c. From the good God nothing 
can come but what is good: therefore do good 
to us in all fpirituall things. The Prophet D4f;</ 
aimes at this excellent goodly*/. 4.6,7. faying 

D that 

That M^ing of 
gaod, argues 
the ingenuity o 



In tie goodde 
find outward 
profperity is al 

The Returning Backflider* 

hat other men are for corn^* wttieiand oyl e, and j 

fay ;whowll flx& us anygeod? But Lwdliftthitt\ 

f the light of ply cott-ntmaxceufc&w. lhy loving 

indnffle is better tfa en life, therefore doc 

tons. Whenthoubaft forgiveniourfins, ihmcj 

gratioufly upon us in Jefiis Chriit, 

And it extends its limits like wife to -outward < 
>rofpciiry (this defire of doing ;g.od) Ice usj 
lave happic daie$> fwje f ttnour.piigiirrisgchcre^ 1 
et our profeiHon of Rieligioa be comfortable,! 
do^noc lay more cro-f/es upon us then thou wilt I 
gke v usftrngchtobeare, doc-good to us every 
way/ .But jnaarke th,e wifcdotne of the Holy 
ifl dilating of this Prayrr to them : hee 
es i.o gcnwal-1, do good to u* ; not to doe this 
or that good,but he leaves it to the wifedomc of 1 
> as they here frame their hearts unto the! 
oegoedtvus, fpiwtuall,that needs \ 
becaufcwe cannot more honour I 
Cod then to depend upon him for all fpiritualij 
good rfaings. Thou art wifer, and knowcft what \ 
isgood for iis better ihsn we our feives>beg gars \ 
p^ttt-pbfitio choofers,therefore Degood io w)\ 
fetbepartkulat^ wee -leave them to thy wife- i 
dome.O Beloved, itis a happy and blcfied pri- 
vile%et0bc: ^nder * lie -condufi of fo wife and 
All-fufficicHta God, whoisgood, and as he is 
gocd, knowe^ bed \vh;,t is good for us. Wee 
would have riches, liberty and health, 1 but it 
may he it is not good for us, DogooJto /a*. Thou 
Lord knovveft what isbeil, dci in thine owne 
I Which 5 

The Returning Backfltder* 

Which fhould teach us not to limit the Holy SB R.IT. 
one of Ifrael in our dcfires of any outward thing 
\\hatfoever. Efpecially dcfire forgivcrneflfc and 
fpiriruall good things leaving the reft to his wife 
dKpofing. Yctnotwithftanding out of thefenfe 
o- p uneandgriefe we may pray either for the 
mitigation or remooving of a croflfcif Gcdbe 
fo pleafcd ; bccauib he hath put in us felfe-kwe-. 
not finfull, but love ofprdcrving oiir natu.ej 
therefore he permits ns (ifitmay ftandwithhis 
good p!eafure)todefire the good ofourout\^rd 
man 7 as,Lordgiveus bodily health, fot we can 
not clfc be inftruments of fcrving thee. With 
refei*\ ; ation of Gods good pleafure, we may de- 
fire fueh and fuch rfiings; conditixjtially, thac 
when we fee God will haveit oiherwife, wee 
reft contented, fit downe quietly, knowmgthac 
whatfoevcr health/ickneffeor croffes he fends, 
it comes from his goodneffe and love, andfhall 
turnetoour good at length: if we love God, all 
(hall worke for good. 

Take away our iniquity and dot ut good, wee 
fhould make r his petition for the Church and 
our felves, pardon our fins and do good to us 5 to 
our perfons, to the ftarc, to the rimes wherein 
we Iive 5 tothe Church at homeand abroad, doe 
good to all. 

And we may obferve tins from theorderjand 
kno vv,what good wee h;ive, it conies from God 
in love, when it comes after forgivenefle of 
finnes, How then tr.ay wee take comfort of all 
the good things we have enjoyed, having fceftc 

D 2 rr^ny 

Howtt t?noiv 
when blejfings 
enioyed corns 
from Gods love 


Returning Backflider. 

many good dales, enjoyed many good bleflings, 
in health, wealth, good Magiftncie,Miniftery, 
Peace, plenty and the like { If all this goodnefTe 
of God leade us to God, and draw us necrer 
unto him tfter forgivcne/e ef finnes (grounded 
on the former evidences Ifpakeof) then they 
, coineinlove. But never It usthinke to have 
true comfort with a blefling, or any goodrhing 
weenjoy> till wee have affurance of Gods love 
and mercy in the forgivenefTe of finnes 5 leaft 
God ftrip us naked of all the good things wee 
have, and make us as naked as Dives iq Hell, 
who had not (any thing that was good) to re- 
frefti his body or foule. So that all good things 
wee enjoy here without this, will oncly aggra 
vate our condemnation. Let us obferve there 
fore, how all our good things are joyned with 
fpirituall good, whether we our felves are made 
betrer by them or not>having our fins pardoned 
I befecch you kt us renew our requefts for for 
givcnefle of fins every day, makingour account 
even with God : defiring grace to fet our foule 
in a holy and fan&ified frame with God,thatou 
felves may begood>our converfation good : anc 
that then^he would doe good to us all other waies 
and fandtfieall other things. This is the Me 
thod of Gods Spirit infettingus right onwarc 
in our heavenly journey : fi-rft to have forgive 
nefle of finnes, then fandification : to be^ be 
ter our felves* and then to looke for peace 
able and comfortable daies in this worlds if i 
\ God fee it good. What can be more ? Takcah>ay\ 

The Returning Backjlider. 


all iniquity, and do us good: all manner of good. . 

Therefore fince all^Wcomes from God,thc 
firft and chiefe good, let us labour to have com 
munion with him by all fandified meanes, that 
fo he may take away our ilhand do us every way 
good,toour foules, bodies 5 conditions. O what a 
bleffcd thing is it for aChriftiantokeep aftridl 
and neere communion with the fountaine of 
gcodntflcjwhocando more for us then all the 
world befides. When we are fick on our death 
beds, or when confcienceis throughly awaked, 
then to fpeake peace comfortably to us in^fiis 
great extremity, is more worth then all this 
world.Therefore let us labour to keep commu 
nion with God, that he may fpeake peace to our 
foules when nothing elfe can. 

I befeech you therefore let us take heed,how 
webreakeorwalke loofely with God, feeing 
wee can have no further comfort of any good 
thing we enjoy, then wee are carefull to keep 
and maintaine our peace and communion with 
him at all times; and when we run intoarrera- 
ges with God, then be fure we lie notinfinne, 
but fay, T<iKt away all iniquity, and doe good to 
us, labouring to be in fuch an eftate, as God 
may give us his holy Spirit, both to make us 
good 7 andto fan&ifieunto us all other good. 
There be good things, which are good of/ 
thcmfclves, and which make all other things 
cood. Thus by communion with God,vve our 
fclves are made good, and all other things 
likevvife are made good to us 3 all his vvaies 

D 3 being 



The Returning BackJUJer. 

>cing mercy and truth unto thofc who feare 

lim.Thercfore refignc we our fdves and all that 

we have unto his wifcdome and difpofing : be- 1 

aufeoftimcs there is good, where we imagine 

ie worft of evills to be : as it is fometirnes good 

o have a veincopencd,to be purged, the Phyfi, 

anthinks fo,whcn yet the Patient, impatient of 

leafons i(fueithinkesnotfo;But asthcPhyfiri- 

n is wifer then the Patient to know what is bcft 

"or hiin^ fo God is wiftr then man to know 

what is good for him, who intends us no hurt 

wRtnhepurgeth us by affli&ion. 

All our care therefore (houldbe,to annihilate 
our (elves, to come with empty poore foules 
o God, Xteegwdtow. In which cafe, it is 
no matter what our ill be,if he doe us good^who 
lath bcth pardon and rich grace to rcmoove 
the evill of finne 5 and convey all grace unto us 
out of his rich Treafury. 

So will we render the calves of our Lfs. 

Hereisthe^^/f/y/^/^jOrpromife, they Rc- 
turne backagaine to God : for there is no ftiend- 
fhip maintained without rendting: when God 
hath entred into Covenant with us 5 then there 
is akindeof friendfliip knit up betwixt him and 
us(he becomming our friend) We muft not ther- 
fore be like graves to fwallow t*p all and returne 
nothing; for then the inter-courfe belwixc God 
and us is cut off.Therfore the fame Spirit which 
teacheth them to pray, and to Take to them 
words ^ teachcth them like wife to take unco them 
word* ofPr&fejhat there may be a Rendring, ac- 
^^ cording 

The Returning Backflider. 

cording to Receiving ; without which we arc 
worfe then the poorcft creature that is, which 
rendretb according to its receit.The Earth( when 
it is plowed and fo wed) it yeelds us fruit. Trees 
being fet>yeeld increafe: Beafts being fcd,render 
in their kind: yea the ficrceft untamed Beafts/as 
we reade of the Lyon) have beene thankful! in 
their kinde$The Heavens; faith the PfalmiftJ dc, 
| dare theglory of God and the firmament fhcwes 
forth his Praife.So there muft be a Returne,if we 
be not worfe then beafts.Thereforethe Ch^ch 
here promifeth a Returne by the fame Spirit 
which ftirred her up to pray 4 So will wee render 
the Calves of our lips. 

Now this promife which the Chorch makes 

hereof praife is a kind of vow : Stwill we rends, 

drc. Tobinde ones felfe is akindeof vow. The 

Church therefore bindes her felfe that flic may 

binde God > for binding her felfe by vow to 

Thankfullneffe, fhe thereby bindes God,who is 

mooved with nothing wee can doe fo much as 

with fetring forth of his Praife, which was his 

end in all the Creation, the fctting forth of his 

glorv.The end of ihe new Creature,istheend of 

all things both in nature and grace^the end wher- 

t of is Gods glory from whence all things come, 

: and u herein all things end : as we fay of a circle, 

all things begin and end in it. All other things 

rue for man,and man for Gods glory; when the 

foule can fay. Lord, this dial I be for thy honour, 

to fet forth thy praife 3 it bindes God.Hencethat 

they might mooveGod to yeeld to their prayers, 

D 4 they 


The Returning Back/lider. 1 


* **" ~ -^ _____ . . __ -4 

they bind themfelves by a kind of vow; DDC 

thus, O Lord 3 and thou flialt not loofe by it,thou 

flialt have praife.^0 witt we render thee the Cahes 

of our lips. 

So Promifes andvowes ofpraifeareallead- 

ged as an argument to prevail? with God,for the 

obtaining of that the Church begs for^Somllm 

render, &c. Not to enter into the common place 

ofvowes, ohely this much I fay, that there is a 

good ufe of them, to vow and promifeThanke- 

Fulte^fle when we would obtaineblcflings from 

God.That which a promife is to mcn,that avow 

isto Godj and ufually they go together in Scrip- 

ture,asP/i/.in.2. It is faid of David, That foe 

vowed unto God, and (Iv are unto the mighty God of 

Zjwi^Sowc have all in Baptifme vowed a vow, 

fo that it is good to renew our vowes ofren,efpe- 

cially that of new obedience- and in this particu 
lar, to vow unto him,that we will pmife him^nd 


ftrive that his glory be no loofer by us, 

of vanes, 

It is sood thus to vow, if it were but to excite, 


and quicken our dullnefle and forget fullnefle of 

quicken our 

our generall vow 3 to put us in mind of our duty, 


the iriorc to oblige us to Godandrefrcfli our me- 

mories.This bond, that having promifed^now l 

muft do it, provokes thefoule to it,, as it helpes 

the memory, fo it quickens the affcftions. 


Bcfides, as by nature, we are forgetful I,fo we 

To be a brid e 
to our ittcon~ 

are incon-(laat,ln which refpe, itls atietoour 
inconftant and imffcady naturc,fortherearc none 

whohavetheSpirit cfGodat alj widi any ten-. 

I derneflc of heart, bur will ihtu thinke $ 1 have 
__ vowed. 

Tlx Returning Backflidtr. 

vowed to God, if it be a heinous thing to breakc 
with men, what is it wittingly and willingly to 
break with the great God ^ a vow is a kinde of 
oath ; this is the (acrifice of fooleSj to come to 
God y and yet neither to make good our vowes, 
nor indeavour to doe it. 

Let usconfideriherfore, what we have done 
in this cafe. By permiflion of authority there was 
a Fad lately when we all renewed our vowes 
(we mocked Godelfc) received the Communi 
on. Will God be mocked think you { Nc^tut 
howfoever man may forget, God will not, but 
will come upon us, for w;*-paymcnt of our 
vowes and Covenants. Lay we it to heart there 
fore what Covenants we have made with God 
of late. And then, for the time to come, be not 
difcouraged if you have been faulty in it.Thcre 
is a generall vow,vvherein Chough we have failed 
(if we be his children and breake not with God 
n the maine,cleaving to him in pur pofe of heart, 
cccafionally renewing our purpo(es and Cove- 
nants)yet let not Satan difcourageusforour un- 
: aichfullncflethereinsbutbeaf]iamedofit,watch 
nore ^ lookebeuer co it for t^e time to come ? 
nti iiiakeufe of the gratious Covenant 5 and up 
on recovery, fay with^the Church. So will wee 

Jlcr the Calves of our lips. 

It was the cuftome under the Jewifli-poljicic 
(you kno\v)to offer facrificcsof all forts. But the 
Spirit of God fpcakes hereof the Church of the 
]cvvcs under the New Tcftament, efpecially 
\vhst they (bould be after their Convei (ion, ha 





The Returning Backjltdtr. 

ving reference to the Jewes in Chrifts time, and 
tothebelccving Jswes in all times,implying this 
Bullocks, Sheepewd Lambes, yet the Calves of the 
lips, which God likes better, are acceptable to 
him* And it likewife implies fome humiliation of 
the Church. Lord, whatioeverelfe we could 
offer unto thee it is thine owne, though it were 
the beafts upon a thoufand mountaines 5 but 
this (by thy grace) we can dojvPratfethte, For 
Go4 muft open and cirtutrcife our lips and 
heartSjbefore we can offer him the Calves of our 
lips. Thus much the pooreft creature in the 
world may {ay to God, Lord, I will render the^ 
the Calves of my lips, other things I have not,this 
I have by thy gracious Spirit, a heart fomewhat 
touched by the fenfc of thy favour : therefore, / 
mil render thee the Calves of my l/ps,thatis,Praifc. 
as the Apoftle hath \t.Hel.i 3 . , 5 .By him therefor 
let us offer the Stcrifce ofpraife to God contmti>l T 
th&tu, the fan of our Ups, giving thankesto hi 
Name. ^So wll we render thee the Calves of enr 
lips ] Whencethe point is, 
That Gods children at al times have their Sacrifices 
There is indeed one kinde of Sacrificing oercr- 
mined, and finifhed by thecomminp of Chrift 
who was the laft Sacrifice of propitiation fcrour 
tins. The: more to blame thsfe, who yet m M*n 
tameadaily Sacrifice, nor of laud and pratfc b-t 
of cozening and deluding the worid,i n faying 
mafic for the fins of the quick and thedcad, J 
iuchSacnfices being finiflicd and clofedupin 
~ ^__ him 

The Returning Batkjlider* 

him (our blefled Saviour) who, by 
(as the Apoftlc fpeakes^tf^ ferfetfed them tha 
Are fantlified : and that, By we Sacrifice when txe 
offmtliif him/elfe; when all the Jcwifh Sacrifices 
cnded,fince which,all ours are but a commemo 
ration of Chrifts laft Sacrifice (as the Fathers 
fay) The Lords Supper with the reft: Which 
femaineftill, and the Sacrifice offraife, with a 
few others I defiie to name. 

Firft, TheSacrifce of a broken heart, whereof 
D4<L>/Wfpeakes, Pjal. 51.17. which Sacrifice of 
2 wounded broken hean(by the knifeof Rejftfn- 
tance)p!eafeth God wondroufly well. 

And then, ^A broken ketrt that offers Chrift to 

Godcvtry ^jf,who though he were offered once 
forall.-yetour belceving in him, and daily pre- 
fcnting his Attonement made for us>is a new of 
fering of him.Chrift is Crucified and Sacrificed 
forthee as oft as than belecveft in Chrift Cru 
cified. Now uponall occafions we nunifeft our 
Beleefein Chrift,to wafli and bathe our felves 
in his blood, who juftifieth the ungodly, fothat 
upon a frcfli fight of fin with contrition for ir, he 
continually juftifieth us. Thus when we Bcleeve 
we offer him to God daily, a broken heart firft, 
and then Chrift with a broken heart. 

And then when webcleeve in Chvift, Mtfft* 
dfarifice our felves to God*> in wlrch refpcd we 
muft (as it, were) be killed ere we be offered 5 
for wee may not offer our felves as w-eare 
inourlufts, but as mortified and killed by Re 
pentance. Then we offer our felves to God as a 


Hcb. 7 ,2 7 , 


broken beat t> 

offering cbri 


2 Cor, 8, 

The Returning Backflidtr. 

eafonable and living facrifice, when wee offer 
our felveswho!*y unto him, wit, underftanding, I 
udgement, affe&ions and indeavour, as Paul \ 
aith ofthe ^Macedonians, they gave themfelvfs to j 
Gtdfirtt^ndtbtn their goods. In fumme, it is that 
Sacrifice /Wfpeakes of, Rcm.iz.i. To prefect 
our bodies a living Sacrifice, holy, AC ce ft able unto j 
God>&c. fora Chriftian who beleeveth in the j 
LordJefuSjisnothis owne,but facrificethhim- ! 
ilfeto him that was Sacrificed for him. As j 
Gtmft is given to us, fo hee that beleeves in ! 
Cnrift gives himfelfc backe againc to Chrift* 
Hereby a man miy know if he be atrue Chri 
ftian, and that Chrift is his ; if he yeelds up him- j 
felfe to God 5 for, Christ died and rofe againe* \ 
(faith the ApoftleJ that he might be Lord both <)f\ 
quick and dead. Therfore (faith he) whether wee { 
live or die, we are not our own t what we do or fuflfcr \ 
in the world, in all we are Sacrificed/o faith a 
fan&ified foule 5 my wit, my will, my life, my! 
good,my affections are thine, of thee I received j 
them^and I refigncall totheeasaSacrific^.Thus j 
the Martyrs tofeale the Truth (as a Sacrifice) ! 
yeelded up their blood.He that hath not ebtai- , 
ned of himfelfc fo much,as to yeeld himfclf to 
God,heknowes not what the Gof pell meanes; 
for Chriftian Religion is not oncly to beleeve in 
Chrift for forgiveneffe offin, but the fame-faith 
which takes this great benefit, renders back our 
felves in Hew of ThankfullntflTc. 

Sothar, whatfoever we have (after we Be 
leeve) we give all back againe. Lordjhavemy 


The Returning Backjlider. 

Hfe,my will,my wicand all from the?, and to 
thec I rcturne all back againe : for when I gave 
<my fclfe tobeleeve in thy deare Sonne, I yeel- 
ded my felfe and all I have to thee : nnd now ha 
ving nothing but by thy gift; ifthou wilt have 
all, I will recurneall unto theeagaine; ifthou 
wilt have my life, my goods, my Jibertythoi 
(hah have them. This is the ftate of a Chriftian 
who hath denied himfelfe, for wee cannot be- 
Iceveaswefhould, unlcfle we denieourfelves. 
Chriftianityis not altogether in beleeving jtfiis 
and thar,butthe faith which mooves mee tooe- 
leevc Forgivenefleof finnes, carries us alfounto 
God,to y eeld all back againe to him. 
Moreefpecially, among the Sacrifices of the 


good.andto communicate for get xotfir with fitch Sa 

crificcs God is well p leafed* 

And (among the reft) The Sacrifice of Praife, 
which is in the fame Chapter vcr.ij. firft, he 
by Chiift) let us offer the fa- 
crifceofpraifeto God continually ,i\\3X. \s, 7 he fruit 
ofourlipsy which is but an expofirion of this 
place 3 whichbecaufe iris efpccially here inten 
ded ; I will a little inbrgemy feifcin. 

The Calves ofourlips^ implies twothings : 

Not omly Thwkfallnejft to God\ 

But glorifying of God, in fettingout hispraife; 
otherwife ro thanke God for his goodnefTe to us, 
or for what we hope to receive, without glorify- 
ng of him>is nothing at all worth. For in glori 
fy ing there an 




Me Sacrifice 


The Returning Backflider. 

1, ^ft*fj>Afpfan of Excellence, for chat can 
not be glorified which hath no cxcellcnciein its 
glory in fublimity^hsth alway excellencie atten 
ding it* And 

2. The manifeftation of this glory. 

Now when al the excel lencies of God as t hey 
are, are difcoveitd and fee out, his Wifedoms, 
Mercy , T over, Goodrtefie,^ [I- faff ciencie>&c. \\-\QK 
we glorifie him. To praife God for his favours 
tous, and accordingly to glorifie him, is The 
Ca&es of our lifs, but efpecially to praife him. 
Whence the point is, 

That theyedding offraifete God, is Awondrow 
aecef table Sacrifice. 

Which is indeed of all the Sacrifices of the 
Old Teftamenr, then which, the greateft can 
doe no moi*e ; northeleaft, leiTe, for ids tftefa^ 
crificeand fruit of the lips. But to open it, it is 
not meerely the facrifice of our lips for the 
praife we yeeld to God it muft be begotten in 
the heart. Hereupon the word (AO^) fpeech 
fi gnifieth both Reafon and Speech^here being one 
word in the learned language for both.Becaufe, 
fpeech is nothing but thatftreame which ifTues 
from the fpring of reafon and underftanding 5 
therefore 3 in Thankcfgiving there rauft not be a 
lip-labour onely ; bur a Thankefgiving from the 
lips, firft begotten in the hear:, com ming 
from the inward man, as P/i/.io^.i.The Pro 
phet faith, Sleffe the Lord,0my (bule,. and all that 
i* within meetblejfi hit holy Name; Praife muft 
come from a found judgement of the worth of \ 


The Returning Rackflider* 

the thing we praifc God for. It muft come from 
an arfc&ion which dtfires that God may have 
the glory, by the powers of the whole inward 
man, which is a hard matter to rouze up our 
fclvcs to praife God with all the powers of 
our foulc, all that is within mt> praip hi* holy 
Name. There goeth Judgement, Reiolutionof 
{he will, ftrength of affeaions, and all with 

And thenagaine 5 befides this,T/;<? Calves ofour 
lifs, carries us to work, the orall Thankefgiying 
muft be juftified by our workes and deeds 5 or 
elfe,our adions will give our tongue the lie,tbat 
>ve praifc him with the on*- , but denie him in the 
orher.This is a Sollocifme^as if one fhould look 
to theearth and cry O ye heavens ? fo when we 
fay, God be praifed, when yet our life fpeakcs 
thecontrary^it isadifhonouringof God. ^othe 
praife of our lips inuft be made good and juftifi- 
ed by out Iife,;u2ions,3nd converfation : tnis \ve 
muft fuppofe for the full underftanding of the 
words .Wewillrender (from our \\ems}t he Calves 
if cur //p^which we muft make good in our lives 
and conventions, ever to fet forth thy praifc in 
our whole life, 

But why doth the Prophet efpecially menti 
on//^ 5 ?hc Calves of our lips, which are our 

1. Partly, bccauficbrijl who is the Wcrd, de 
lights in our words. 

2. Bccaufc our Tongue is wr glory, and tla! 
mbtrefa we zLnfic God. 

J & *. And 



Why lips are 
mentioned for 

ife oiety. 

SflR.I 1. 



7t muft bee 
from an lumbl 
broken heart. 

The Returning Backflider. 

3 . And efpecially, becaufe pur Tongue is 
which excites others 

Being a trumpet of praife, ordained of God 
for this purpofe. Therefore, The Calves of our 
lifs. Partly >becaufe it ftirres up our felves and 
others; and partly, becaufe God delights in 
words efpecially of his owrje dilating. To 
come then to fpeake more fully of Praife and 
Thankefgiving, let us confider, whatafweet, 
excellent and prevailing duty this is; which the 
Qhurch (to bind God) promifeth unto him 
The Calves ef our lifs. I will not be long in the 
point, but only come to fome helpes how wee 
may come to do it. 

Firft,this Praifing of God muft be from an 
humble broken hearr, the humble foulc that 
feesitfelfe not worthy of any favour, and con- 
fdfeth finne before God, is alway athankfull 
foule. Takeaway our iniquity, and then doe 
good to us, we are empty our felves $ Then will 
we render thee the Calves of our lips. What 
made>/n;/Wfo thankfull a man? Hce was an 
humble man i andfo/^W 5 whatabafedhim 
fo in his owne eyes ? his humility $ Lord lam 
lejjc then the hajtoftby mercies. He that thinkes 
himfelfe unworthy of anything, willbethank- 
full for every thing, and hee who thinkes him 
felfe unworthy of any biefling, will be conten 
ted with the leaft. Therefore, let us worke cur 
hearts to hurmlity,in confideration of our finne- 
fulIneflTe, vileneffe, and un worth incfTe, which 
will make us thankfull, efpecially of the beft 

The Returning Back/lider. 

bkffmjs, when wee confider their greatnefle, 

and our unworthinefleofthem. A proud man 

I can never be thankfull. Therefore that Religion 

| which teacheth pride, cannot be a thankefull 

j Religion, Popery is compounded of fpintuall 

pride. tMcrit if Congrmty before Converfion, 

\tJMcrit of Condigvity anddcfert of heaven after 3 

Free-will and the like, to pufFcup nature, what 

a Religion isthisc muftwc light a candle be- 

fore the divell ? is not nature proud enough, but 

wemuftlignt a candle to it? to be fpintiiaHy 

proud is worft of all. 

And with our owne unworthineffe, add this, 
a confederation of the greatiitjfeofthetfang weblcffe 
God for : letting as high a price upon it as wee I 
can,by confideiing what and how miferable we 
were without it.He will bkfle God joyfully for 
pardon of fin who fees how miferable hee were 
without if, in mifery next to divels, ready to 
drop into hell every moment : and the more 
excellent we are, fo much the more accurfed 
without the forgivenefle of finnes. For the foule 
by reafon of the largenefle thereof, is fo much 
the more capable and comprehcnfible of mi 
fery, as the divels are more capable then wee, 
therefore arc moft accurfed. O this will make 
usblcfle God for the pardon of finne, and like- 
wife, let us fcf a price upon all Gee s blef- 
Ings a confidering what we were without our 
>j fpeech, meate, drinke,refh^v. O belo- 
> we forget to praife God fuflicicntly for our 
enfcs. This little fparke of Reafon in us, is an 

E excellent 

A due confJ 
rationvf tloi 
greatnejfe of 
tke blejfi gf. 

ranee that we 
are in Gods 

The Returning Back/lider. 

Col. 1. 15. 
a Pet. i, 4. 

excellent thing ; grace is founded upon it, if we f 
were without Reafon,what were we?lf we wan- j 
ted fight, hearing, fpeech, refr, and or her daily j 
blefTmgs, how uncomfortable were our lives ? | 
This confideraric;n will add and fet a price to 
their worth, and make us thankful! to confider 
our mifery without them. But (fuch is our cor 
ruption) that favours are more knowne by the 
want then by the enjoying of them, when too 
late we(many times) finde, how darke and un 
comfortable we are without thcm^then finarting 
the more foundly, becaufein time we did not 
fufficiently prize, and were thankfull for them. 

And then, labour to get further and further affa- 
rancejhat wee are Gods children, beloved of him : 
this will make us thankefull, both for what we 
have and hope for, It lets out the life blood of 
Thankefullneffe to teach doubting, or falling 
from grace. What is the end Ibefeech you why 
the glory to come is revealed before the time ? 
that, we fliall be fonnes and daughters ; Kings 
and Qjeenes; heires and coheires with Chriftj 
and all that he hath is ours * Is not this know 
ledge revealed before hand, that our praife and 
thankefgiving fhould before hand be futable to 
this Revelation^ being fet with Chrift in hea 
venly places already. Whence comes thofe 
ftrong phrafes, we are raifed with Chrift , fit with- 
him in heavenly Places : are tranfiated from death 
to life : Transformedinto his image : Partakers of 
the divine Kdture : &c a If any thing that can come 
betwixt our beleeving and our fitting there 

The Returning Backjlider. 

Doftrine of 
doubting tylls 

to God. 

could difappoint us thereof, or unfertlcus, fo 
may as well put Chrift out of Heaven, for we fie 
with him. If wee yeeld to the uncomfortable Po- 
pifli Dodrinc of doubting, we cannot be hearti 
ly thankfull for bldfings 5 for (till there will 
rife in the foulc furmifes, I know not whether 
God favour me or not, it may be I am oncly 
fatted for the day of (laughter, God gives mee 
outward things to damncmc, and make me the 
moreinexcufablc; what a cooler of praife is 
this, robe ever doubting and to havejioafly- 
ranceof Gods favour? But when upon good 
evidence (which cannot deceive) wee have 
fomewhat wrought in usdiftinCt from the grea 
ter number of worldlings, Gods ftampe fee up 
on us,having evidences of theftate of grace,by 
conformity to Chrift, and walking humbly by 
the Rule of the Word in all Gods waies, Then 
we may heartily be thankfull, yea and we fhall 
breake forth in Thankefgiving: this being an 
eftateof Petce^ndjey unfptakeMe and glorious, 
wherein we take every thing ;as an evidence of 
Gods love. 

Thus, the affiirance of our being in the ftate 
ofgrnce,makesus thankfull for everything : fo 
by the contrary, being not in fomcmeafure af- itthenurfiof* 
Tured of Gods love in Chrift, wee cannot be 
Thankfull for every thing. For it will alcvaies 
come in our minde,! know not how I havethefe 
hings,and what account I fhall give for them. 
Therefore,even forthe honour of God, and that 
ve may praife him the more cheerefully, let us 

E 2 labour 

That a/L 



The Returning Backjlider. 

abourrohave further and further evidences of! 
:he(tateofgrace 5 to makeusthankfull both for! 
tilings prefent and to come, feeing faith rakes to j 
truft things to come, as if it had them in poffc iTi- ; 
on: Whereby we are affrredof this; that weel 
[ball come to heaven>as fure as if we were there! 
already. This makes us praife God beforehand- 
For all favours : asbltffed Peter begins hfsEpi-i 
lie, SleffeJ be the God and Father of our Lerd 
lefus Chrift; which according to his abundant 
wtgrey, hath begotten u* again e unto a lively hope,\ 
by the Refurrettionoj lefts Chnft from the dead > te\ 
an inheritance incorruptible andtwdtfiled.and that ! 
fadethnot away ,referv(d in heaven feryott^&c. As 
fooneasweare newborne^we are begotten to \ 
aKingdome, and an Inheritance: therefore! 
affurancethat we are Gods children, will make I 
us thankfull for grace prefent and that to come;, 
as if we were in Heaven already we begin then 
the imployment of Heaven in thankefgiving 
here to praife God before hand with Cherubims 
and i^dngtls. Letusthenbe ftirred up, to give 
God his due before hand, to begin Heaveo upon 
Earthy for wee are fo much in heaven al 
ready as we abound and are con- 
verfant in thankfgiving 
upon earth. 

The end of the fccmd Sermw. 


T H i R 


Hos, 14.2,3, 

-So will we render the Cafoes of our lips. 

Ajhurfbatt not fave us* we will not ride upon 
horfesi neither will wee fay any more to the 
works of our hands, ye are ourgod$. f for in 
theetheFatberleftefindeth mercy. 

H E words (as wee heard 
heretofore ) containe a 
rnoftfwee* and excellent 
forme of Returning unto 
God for miferable loft 
and forlornefinners,wher- 
in,fo farre God difcovers 
his willingneffe to have 
them a forme of pray tr>Take with you wgrds And 

E 2 turnt\ 

The Returning Back/liden 

III. t ur ne M the Lord, fay unto him, Take away iniquity . 
" Wherein we fee how deteftat ion of fin muft be 
as generall as the defire of pardon: and that none 
heartily pray to God to Take away all iniquity, 
who have not grace truly to hate all iniquity. 
^Ar.d doc good to us, or docgratiouflytous, for 
there is no good to us till finne be remooved, 
though God begoodneffe ir ftlfyhere is no pro- 
oking or meriting caufe of mercy in us 5 but he 
Indes caufe from his ovvne gratious nature and 
>owelsof mercy, to pitie his poore people and 
er*ants. It is his nature to fliew mercy ; as the 
iie to burnc* a fpring to runne, the Sun to fhine : 
Therefore it is cafiTy done (as the Prophet 
peakes) Who is a God like unto thee? 

Where we came to fpeake of the Reftiptila- 
tion, So will wee render the Calves of our lips*. 
where Gods favour ilrhes there will be a re 
fle<Ttion,loveis not idle, but a working thing : i 
muft render or die 5 and what doth it render? di 
vers Sacrifices of the New Teftament which 
fpoke of,that of a broken heart,of Chrift offeree 
to the Father to ftand betwixt Gods wrath anc 
us^our felvesas a living Sacrifice: Almes-decds 
andpraife, which muft be with the whole in 
ward powers of the foule. 

Praifc if not comely in the mouth of a fool e( faith 
~wan) nor of a wicked man, as Pfal. 50. 
faith God to fuch> What haft thcu to doe 
to take my words in thy month fine e thoa hats (I to he 
reformed.andhaficaflmy words behwdthce? There 
areacompany who are ordinary fwearers, and 

The Returning Back/lider t 

filthy fpeakers $ for them to praifc God, laws 
tcllsthem, that thcfc contrary ftreamcs cannot 
flow out of a good heart ; O no : God requires 
notthepraifeoffuch fooles 

I gave you alfo fome Dire&ions how to praifc 
God, and to ftirre up your fclves to this mo{ 
excellent duty, which I will not infiftonnov? 
but add a little unto that I then delivered,which 
is, That VPC rr.uft watch all tdv/intages of 

om our difyofitions . Is any mtrrie, let himfing 
(faith fames) O 3 it is a great point of wifedo*e, 
to take advantages wich the ftreame of our tem 
per to ptaife God. When he doth incourage us 
by his favours and bleflings,and inlarge our fpi- 
rits,then we are in a righr temper to bleffe him : 
let us not loofe the occafion. This is one Branch 
of redeeming of time, to obferve what ftate and 
temper of foule we are in, and to take advantage 
fromthencc.Isanymanin hewincjfe? he is fit to 
mournefor fin : let him take the opportunity of 

him facrifice that marrow,oyle, and fweetnefTe 
of fphit to God. We fee thepoorc birds in the 
fpring-time, when thofe little fpirirsthcy have 
are cheriflied with the Sun-beames, how they 
expreflc it in finging 5 fo when God warmes 
us with his favours, let him have the praifc of 

And here, I cannot but take up a lamentati 
on of the horrible ingratitude of men, who arc 
fo fane from taking advantage by Gods blcC-,, 
fings to praifc him , that they fightjike Rebels) ^ /"// 
^ E 4 againft! 

To take ad 
vantages of 
our difpofitio 
lames c.i 

censure of 

The Returning 

to Pratfi God 


We honour bin 


It Is tkemoft 
gaintfull tra* 

him with his owne favours. Thofe 
tongues which he hath given them for his glo 
ry, they abufeto pierce him with blafpheraie, 
and thofe other benefits of his lent them to ho 
nour him with, they turne to his difhonour, like 
children, who importunately aske for divers 
things,which when they have.thcy throw them 
to the dog. So 3 favours they will have, which 
when they have obtained,they give them to the 
divell, unto whom they facrifice their ftrength 
anichecrefullncfle, and cannot be merrie, un- 
eflethey be mad and finfull. Are thefe things to 
?e tolerated in thefe daies of light i How few 
(hall wefindewhoin a temper of mirth turne it 
the right way ? 

Buttoaddfome incouragements to incite us 
:o praife God, unto the former $ I befeech you 
let this be one, That we honour Gedby it$ it is a 
well- pleafing Sacrifice to him. If we would ftu- 
die to plcafe him, we cannot do it better then by 
praiiing him. 

And // it A gantpiU trading with God : for 
in beftowing his feed, where he findes there 
is improvement in a good loyle, with fuch a 
fan&ificd difpofition as to bleflTe him upon alJ 
occafions, that there comes not a good thought, 
a good motion in the mindc, but we blefle God I 
who hath injeded fuch a good thought in our 
heart : there I fay God de-lights to fliower 
downe more and more bleifings, making us 
fruirfull in every good workc to the praife of 
his N^me. Sometimes we flial! have holy and 
V gratious 

Ihe Returning Backflider* 


^rations pcifons make a law,that no good or ho- 
Fy motion (hall come into their hearts which 
they will not be thankfull for. O, when God 
feeth a heart fotxcellentlydiipofed, how doth 
it inrich the foule ? It is a gaincfull trade. As we 
delight to beftow our feed in foylcs of great in- 
creafe,whichyceld fixtyandan hundred fold, 
ifpoflible: fo God delights in adifpofirion in- 
clincd to bleffe him upon all eccafions, on 
whom he multiplies his favours. 

Andthen,initfelfe; it is a molt noble *&tf\ 
Religion^ it being amore.bafe thing to be al- 
waits begging of God 5 but it argueth a more \gton 
noble, raifed and elevated fpirit to be difpofed 
topraife God. And it is an argument of IcflV 
felfe-love and refpeft, being therefore more 
gainefull to us. Yca,it is a more noble and royal! 
difpofmon,fitforSpirituall Kings and Priefts 
thusto Sacrifice. 

Againe, indeed we have more caufe tofrjij& 4 

God then topray, having many things to pr*if<^ f/^/^ 

him for which \veemvcrpratafcri Who ever \togiue t^K 1 ^ 

prayed for his ele<3ion, care of Parents in our \^~ 

infancy, their affedion to us, care to breed and { 

traincustoyeares of difcretion 5 bcfides thofe 

many favours daily heaped upon us> above all 

that we are able to think or fpcake. Therefore 

j Tralfe being a more large Sacrifice then Prayer, 

| wee ought ro be abundant in it. For thofe that 

begin not Heaven upon earth, of which this 

| praifc is a maine fundion, chey (lull never come 

I to Heavcn>after they are taken from the earth ; 




uke 1.14., 

The Returning 

?raijing bring 

fortherc is no heavenly a<ftion, but it is begun 
upon earth 3 cfpecially this maineoRc,of joy ning 
with Angels, Seraphims, and Cherubims in 
lauding God ? Shall they praife him on our be- 
halfe> and (hall not wee for our owne ? We fee 
the Quire of Angels when Chrift was borne, 
fang, Glory be to God on high, on earth Peace, 
and good will towards men. What was this for? 
Beeaufe Chrift the Saviour of the world was 
borne, whereby they (hew, that we have more 
benefit by it then they. Therefore if we would 
ever joynewith them in Heaven, let us joyne 
with them upon Earth 5 for this is one of the 
great privileges mentioned by the AuthoMo 
tneffrfrww, unto which we be come too, Com 
munion with the ffirits of jult men made "perfect, 
and to the company of innumerable Angels .-we can 
not better fliew that we are come to that blefled 
eftate and Society fpoken of then by praifing 

Andlaftly, If we be much in fraifingGod, wee 
jhall be much in joy, which eaferh mifery; for 
a man can never be miferable, that can be joy- 
full, and a man is al way joyfull when hee is 
thankfull. When one is joyfull and cheerefull, 
what mifery can lie upon him * Therefore it is 
a wondrous helpe in mifery to ftirre up the 
heart to this fpirituall Sacrifice of Thankcfgi- 
ving by all arguments, meanes and occafions. 
Our hearts are Temples,and we are Priefts, we 
fliouldalway therefoiehave this light & Incenfe 
burning in our hearts,as the fire did al way burne 


7 be Returning Backflider* 

on the Altar in tjwofes time, that wee may have 
thefe fpirituall Sacrifices to offer continually. 
Where this is not, the heart of that man or wo- 
man>is like the Mwminationef defection, which 
(when the daily Sacrifice was taken away) was 
fct up in the Temfle. And ccitaincly where there 
is notpraifingot God, the heart is *Akk**i#9ti* 
$nof dcfoU .ion^ having nothing in if, favemon- 
ftcrs ot bale lufts and earthly attentions. 

But how (hall wee know that God accepts 
thcfe Sacrifices of Praife ? 

How did hee witnefie the acceptation of 


thofe Sacrifices under the old Law { l>y 
from Heaven ; this was ordinary with them. So 
ifwefindcour hearts warme, cheared and in- 
cour aged with joy, pcace,and comfort in prai- 
fingGod: thisisas itwere a witncflcby fire 
from Heaven that our Sacrifices are accepted. 
Let this novvfaid beeffe&uall, toftirreyou up 
to this excellent and ufefullduty of Tkanhfgf* 
<v .ng> without multiplying of more Arguments; 
favetoputyou inmindeof this, thatasweeare 
exhorted to dtlight ourfelvcs in the Lor A, one 

Dan, 1 1.1 1. 

way (among the reft) to doe it, is to /TW him 
w th chcercfrMnefe, it is an excellent thing to 
make us delight in God, who loves acheerc- 
full giver, and Thankefgivcr. Sowill werett- 
Jcr the Calves of cur Itps. But to proceed. 

After this their folemne Covenant end pro 
mifeofyeeldingPr4//^roGod,that if he would 
forgive all their finncs and doe good to them 5 
, then hcfhouldhave the bcfl they could doe ip 



Hoiv to fao 
icvben fur 
is accepted. 


The Returning 

SjntM.III.ihimagaine, (Praife) Here js o^ Promise of new 
obedience, which hath two Branches, 

1 . o/ Renunciation of the ill courfes they took 

i^fhur fall not fave us, wee will not ride 
upon Horfes, neither will wee fay any more to the 
workes of our hands ,ye are our gods. 

2 . Then there is a Pofttive duty implied,in thefe 
words ; 

For, in thee, the Fatherlejjefndeth mercy. 

Whereof, the one fprings from the other; 
^Pfturfhallnot fave u*-> wee will not ride upon 
Horfes, neither will we fay any more to the workes 
of our hands, ye are our geds. Whence comes all 
thefe ? for in the t, the Fatherleffsfadeth mercy. 
Thou fhalt be our Rock, our Trttft, our Confidence 
for ever : what will follow upon this ? ^Afhttr 
(hall not fave many longer, we will not ride up en 
Horfes.&c. for we have pitched and placed our 
confidence better; on him,in w 
leffefindeth mercy . 

^A {hur fiall not fave 

The Confidence which this people hadpla-j 
ced,partly in c^//^r ? their friends andaffociates; ! 
and partly in their owneftrength at home 5 now | 
(promifing Repentance) they renounce all fuch | 
confidcncein Afiur,Horfes, and idols. ^4 jhur flail \ 

Firft for this, ^Ajhur fhall not fave us ; that 
is, the Ajfyrians, whom they had on the one 
fide^-and the fiLgyptiatis onthepther: it being) 
(as we fee in the Prophecies of I fay and leremy) \ 

ordinary I 

The Returning Backjlidtr* 

ordinary with Gods people, in anydiftrcflc to 

have recourfe to the Affjri&SfX Rgtftians ; as 

if God had not beene iufficient to be their Rock 

and their fhicld, Wee fee how often the Loid 

complaines of this manner of dealing,//^ 50.2. 

& 1 1 . i . Woe unto them that got downe into Agypt 

forbchc>ndflayonborfcs,afldtruttw chariots, be- 

cjitfe they *rs many } &c. The Prophets (and fo 

this Prophet) are very full of fuch complaints. 

It bein^one of the cheefe arguments hteprtf- 

fcth, their falfeneffe in this, thac in any fcare ox 

pcrill,they ran to the flicker of other Natiofls, 

cfpecially thefetwo, &&{**&!*$**> as you 

h we it, Chap. 12.1. Efhraim feedeth on mnd,and 

filloweth after the East winde, hee daily increafeth 

lies anddtfolation^ <tndtbey doe make A Covenant 

with the Jffyriavs , andoyle is carriedinto &gy?t, 

that is, Baln-.e, who had this priviledgc above 

all other nations, to abound in pretious Balmes: 

whichbaliiie and oylethey carried foraprefent 

into ALwpt,io win their favour againft the^ 1 - 

rians. Sometimes they relied on the one, and 

fometimes on the other, the (lory and caufes 

whereof were too tedious to relate, wherefore 

Icometotheufcfull points arifinghence./2/W 

Jb all not five M. 

T. That man naturally is froM topttt con f Jena 
\inthe creature. 

2. That the creature is ttnfifffictent ana unable to 
\ yedd M this prep to upheld o;r cwfdwce. 

;. That Cods people nken they are endowed with 
liebt fapcrvatHrall, to difarne and be convinced 





That reforma 
tion muft be 
toyed foil}) 
prayer md 

Pro. 1 5, 8, I . 

The Returning Backjlider. 

hereof, are of that minde to fay [Ajhur 
fave tu.~] 

But to make way to thefe things, wee 
muft firft obferve two things for a prepara 

Firft, That Reformation of lift mufi be wined \ 
with Prayer and Praife. There was Prayer be 
fore,and a promife of Praife 5 but(as here)there 
muft be joyn d reformation of their finne. Thn 
it muft be fo it appeares, Firft for Prayer : it is 
faid,P/i/. 6 (5. z S . // / regard iniquity in my -hart, 
the L&r d will not hear e my Prayer : and for Praife- [ 
rhevvyfacrificeoftht wicked (who reformes J 
not his waies) is abhominable: fo that without 
Reformation, Prayer and Praife is to no pur - 
pofe. Therefore it is brought here after a pro- 
mifeotPraife.Lord as wemeane to praife thee 
fo wee intend a thorough reformation of former 
finnes whereof wee were guilty. We will re- 
npunce^/7w, and confidence mHorfes, idols 
and the like. Therefore let us when we come 
to God with Prayer and Praife, thinke alfo of re- 
forming what isamiffe. Out with icebox- if 
there be any dead flte or ^tchan uncaft our, 1 
Prayer and Praife is in vaine. Will you ftcale 
lie commit Adultery, fwearefhlfely, and coVne 
and ftand before me (faith the Lord by the Pro 
phet leremahy. Will you offer to Pray to me and 
Praije me living in thefe and thefe /lanes ? No 
God will abhorre both that Prayer arid Praife 
where there is no reformation, what haft jkfa \ 
to doctotakemyName in thy mmh.fmcetbonha. \ 


The Returning Back/lider. 

ted to l>t reformed, and hast cast my words behind 
thce ? faith God. Where he pleadcs with the Hy 
pocrite for this audacious boldaeflc in fevering 
things conjoyned by God. Therefore as wee 
would not have our Prayers turned backe from 
He-wen whichmould.bringabkfiing upon all 
other things ellc: As we would not have our 
facrifices abhominable to God, labour to re- 
forme what isamifle, amend a!!, or elie never 
thinkeour lip-labour willproove any thing but 
a loft labour, without this Reformation. 

A Swathing which I obferve in general, 
before I come to the particulars, is, 

That true Kefcntancc if of the particular Jtnne 
which metre mofl addicted to, and mofl guilty of. 

The particular finne ot this people (whom 
God fo inftrudshere) was their confidence in 
AffiriA, Ilorfcsznd idols. Now therefore Re 
penting, they repent of the particular mame 
finnesthey were moft guihy of, which being 
ftrickendowne, all the lefler will be eafie to 
conquer. As v\hen G^Miimfcife was ftncken 
d0wne,allthe hoft ofth-.- Phlifam runneaway. 
So when Goliab (hall be Hainein us, the reigning 
ruling domineering finne, the reft wiUcafilybe 


Therefore let us make anUfcot E.yamtMti- 
on and triall of our Repentance. If it be lound,it 
drawcs with it a reformation, as in general!, (o 
cfpecially of our particular ftnnes, as thofe, 
confcfle and fay, Who ve Mother 
this, in Asking A King. 



i Sam.J7. ji, 





The Returning BaAJlidtr. 

We were naught and had offended God miny 
waies before, but herein we have beene excee 
ding, finncfull, in feeking another Govcrnonr 
being weary of Gods gracious Governemenc 
over us. So a gracious heart will fay, I have 
beene a wretch in all other things, but in this 
and that fin above all other.Thus it was with the 
woman of Samaria, when fiiee was put in minde 
by Chrift of her particular grand finne, that ftcc 
had beene a light woman and had had many 
ht^bands, he whom flic lived with now not be- 
ing her husband. This difcovery (when Chrift 
touched the galled part) did foworkc upon her 
ccnfcience, that it occafioned a general 1 repen 
tance of all her other finnes whatfoever. And 
indeed found repentance of one mainefin, will 
draw with it all the reft. And for the moft part 
when God brings any man home to hm, hefo 
carries our repentance, that difcoverim? un-ors 
ourfinnefunneflb, face efpecially fhewesusour 
&alfl*k y ifack, Hercdias, O u r particular finne 
which being caft out, we prevaile eafily 
the reft. As the charge was gfven bj t 
ot i^iram sgainft #ht> fgfa neither 
gre4t norfmall&tt onely againtt the King oflfrad, 
kill him, and then there will be an end of the 
battell. So let us not (land (hiking at this and 
that finne which wee are not fo much tempted 
to, if we will indeed proove our repennncc to 
be found, but at ttKat mainc finne which by na 
ture, calling or coftome we are mott prone ii&ol 
Repentance for this caufcs Repentance foi -1! 


The Returning Backflifa* 

the reft, asherethe Church (aith, dfiurfhattnit 
fwe ii$,wt mil n*t ride upwhorfcs&c* 

It is a grand impofture, which carries many 

to Hell, they will chcrifli themfclves in fome 

grofTc maine finne, which pleafes corrupt na 

ture, and is advantagious to them: and byway 

of compenfation with God they will doe many 

other things well, butleavea deadflietomarre 

all. Whereas they fhould begin hereefpecial- 

ly. Thismuch in generally which things premi- 

i fed, I come to the forenamed particulars; Fifft, 

That natur ally we we Apt and prwe to confidence 

in wttwardhelps and prefect things. 

This came to our nature from the firft fall ; 

! what was our fall at firft ? A turning from the 

i All-fufficient unchangeable God to the ctea* 

ture, If I fhould defcribc finne, it is nothing bqt 

a turning from God to one creature or other, 

whrnwe find not contentment and fufficiencie 

in one creature, we rmi co ancther> as the bird 

flies from one tree and bough to another, fo we 

feekevarietie of contentments from one thing 

to another, fuch is the pravitie of our nature 

finccthe fall. This is a fundamental! coticlufion; 

man naturally will, and muft havefbmewhatto 

relie on. The fotile muft have abottome, a 

foundation to reft ion, eirher fuch a3 the world 

affords or abettef. Weake things muft have 

their fupports : ais wee fee, the Vine being a 

weakc thing, is commonly fupported by the 

Elme or the like fupplic. Sojtii with the foule 

fince the fall : becaufe it is wcike, ad cannot 

F uphold 



The Returning Backflideri 


Lo/e of former 
with God 


Abu r eofour 

our fan- 
cits come to ire 

j SERM.HI. uphold nor fatisfie it felfe with it felfe^therefore 
it lookes out of it felfe. Looke ro Goditcan- 
nottill it be in the ftateofgrac, for being his 
enemie, it loves not to look to him or his wsies, 
or have dealing with him; therefore it lookes 
unto the creature, that next hand unto it felfe. 
j This being naturally fince the fall, that what we 
had in God before when we flood, we now la 
bour to have in the creature. 

Becaufc(as was faid) having loft Communi 
on with God, fomewhat we muft have to ftay 
the foule. 

Secondly, becaufe Satan joynes with our 
fenfe and fancie, by which wee are naturally 
prone to live, efteeming of things, not by faith 
and by deeper grounds, but by fancie. Now 
fancie having communion with fenfe, what it 
difcoveiS and prefents for good and great 5 fan 
cie makes it greater, and the Divell above all 
having communion with that facultie offatt- 
tie, andfo a fpirit of error being mixed there 
with^ to make our fancie thinke the riches of the 
world to be the onely riches : The greatncfle 
and goodnefle of the creature, to bee the onely 
greatneffe and goodneffe , and the ftrength 
thereof, the onely ftrength: This fpirit of er 
ror joyning with our ownefpirits, and with the 
deceit of our natures 3 makes us fet a higher value 
on the creature, inlargethand inrageth the fan 
cie, making if fpiritually drunk foasto conceive 
arniflfe of things. 

Bricfely for Ufe hereof, k being but a dire- 



The Returning Back/lider. 

ding point to others. Let mtake notice of our 
corruption here in and be humbled for it> talcing 
in good part thofe affli&ions and croflfes which 
God fends us to convince and let us fee that 
there is no fuch thing in the creature as we ima 
gined. Becaufe naturally, wearedefperately 
given to thinke that there is fomewhat more 
therein then there is. Now affli&ion helpes 
this fickneffe of fancie, imbittering unto us all 
) confidence in the creature. Therefore it is a 
happy and abkrfed thing to be crofTed in tiat 
which we over-value, as thefe ifraeltttshcerc 
\ did, the i^fjjyrians and the ALgyptians : for bc- 
: ing enemies, they trufted in a brokenreed, as we 
(lull fee further in the fccond point, 
How thefe wtwardthings cannot Mpe us. 
How prone fo ever we are to rely upon them, 
they are in effect nothing, they cannot helpe us, 
and fb are not to be relied upon, t^djbur flail 
not five tu. Indeed it will not, it cannot ; thefe 
things cannot aid us at our moft need. So that 
that which we moft pitch upon, failes us when 
we fliould cfpecially have helpe ; fome prefent 
vanifliing fupply they yeeld: but little to puf- 
pofe. They have not that in them which (hould 
fupport the foulc at a ftrait, or great pinch as 
wee fay. 

The Reafon is largely given by Salomon in 
the whole booke of Ectlejiaftes, <^4ll is vanity 
and vexation offtirit. There is a vanity in all 
the creatures, being emptie and not able to fup 
port the foule. They are vaine in their continu- 
. F 2 ance, 


That the crea 
tnre cannot 
belpe in our 






The Retummg BackfkdtK 

and emptie in regard of their ftrength, 
they ate gone when wee have need of them. 
Kifhes ( as.the Wifeman faith ) are gone 5 a?*d 
have wings to flic away incur mofhieed. So 
Tntnky are fugitive good things, being like to 
the Wookes tntntioocd in lob : \vhich "when in 
Summer there is need of, then they are dried up, 
and yet run amainei n Winter when there is no 
need of them. So earthly fupports, when there 
is no need of them, then they are at band, but 
wtyen we have moft need of them aregone.T^j/ 
aye broken Cifttrms> as the Prophet calles them : 
Cifternes, that is, they have a limited capacity, a 
Cifterneisnotafpring: fo all their fappon "( at 
the beft ) is but a bounded and a mixed fuffici- 
ency 5 and that alfo which will quickly faile. 
Like water in a Cifterne, which if it be not fed 
with a continual! fpring, failes orputrifiespie- 
fcntly. Likewife thefe outward things are not 
Tufficient for the grievance, for being limited 
and bounded, the grievance will be above the 
ftrength of the creature j which though fome- 
time it be prefent and doe not faile, y et thetrou- 
b!e is fuch, that it is above the ftrength of the 
creature tohelpe. So that for thefe and the like 
i refpefts^ there is nofufficiency nor hclpctobe 
expe&ed from the creature. ^JJwr ft)att not 
u*> bee is not a fufficient ground of truft. 

i , He is but 4, Cruturc. 

; z. He is 

3. fte is aa I Mater, 


The Returning Baekflticr. 

So that, rake him in all thefe three relations, ft".*. III. 
he isnottobetrufted. 

i. He is A Creature , what is a Creature f no 
thing as it were, faith the Prophet, all creatures 
he fore him are as nothing^ and a* a very little thing-, 
I and what it is, when he pleafcth he can diflblve 
jit into nothing, turne it into duft. Mans breath 
I is in his noftrills, all flefhis grafle, and all his 
glory as the flower of graflfc. If a man truftthe 
/creature, he may outlive his truft, his prop may 
, be taken from him and downe he falls. iLdfhgr 
muft not be trufted therefore as a Creaturejnor as 
a Man fa that brings us within the curfe:/ier. 1 7. 
5. Thus faith the Lord, Curfcd be the man that 
trufleth w man^ artdmakethfleft his ayme,&tc. So 
trtifting in the creature not only deceives us, but 
brings us wi:hinthe curfe.In that refped^u///^ 
mult not be trufted. 

But *stj])ttr likewife was- an Enemy, and a 
fccret enemie: for howfoever.the ten Tribes 
unto whom Hofea prophecied were great Ido 
laters, yet they were fomewhat better then 
JjburjNho was without the pale of the Church, 
and a wholy corrupted Church : therefore they 
were enemies to the ten Tribes, and amongft 
other reafons, becaufe they were notfo bad as 
they, nor deeply enough dyed with Idolatry. 

Many thipke they may compile with Pope 
ry mfome few things to gaine their love, and 
that there may be a joining with them in this 
and that : but doe we thinke that they will ever 
cruft us for all this * No, they will alway hate 

F 3 us 


The Returning 

Sam. 164* 1 

ostill we be as bad as they, aad then they will 
dcfpifeiis, and fecuretheinfelves of as. There 
fore there is n3 trotting of Papifts, as Pjpsfts : 

not anely Cre^ires^ but as falfe, and as ene 
mies. For this is rhe nature of wicked men, 
they will never truft better then theoifelves, till i 
they become as bad as they are, after which 
they defpife them ; fay they, now we may truft 
bch and fuch a one* he is as bid as we,becom d 
oneof w. Which is the reafon why fome of -a 
nai^ghty difpofitiontake away the ehaftity and 
virginity of mens confcienccs, making them j 
take this andthat evill courfe: and then they j 
thinke thf y have fuch fafe, being as bad as j 
themfelvesc Wherein they deale as Achitopkels \ 
politique divelifh counfell was, that <^4b[alon\ 
ihould doe that which was naught, and then! 
he fliould be fure that David and he (hould ne- \ 
ver agree after that: and that then by this difco- 
very, the wicked Jewes feton mifchiefe might! 
fccurethemfelvesof Abjalm. So thcy,now that I 
they joy ne with us, God will forfake them, \ve 
(hall have them our inftruments for anything. 1 
Firft, they would have the ten Tribes as bad as I 
they, and then gave them the flip when foe ver! 
they trufted them. 

Againe, neither were they to be trailed asj 
Idolaters? to have league and fociety with them, j 
There may be fome commerce and traffiquei 
with them, but amity and truft none. Afhur and j 
Egypt were horrible Idolaters, and therefore | 
not to bcttufted in that rcfpe<ft. As wee feel 


The Returning Backfidcr. 

the Prophet in this cafe feprooved good 
/htpbjt when he had joyn d with wicked v^A^, 
King of the ten Tribes: fi*<l<Ufttfo kelfc the 
ungodly, *r.dlwt ttemtk*tb*tc theLcrJ? there 
fore wrath t< ttfcn theejrom before the Lerd. So 
we fee it is a dangerous thing to bee in league 
with Idolaters 5 even fuch as the ten Tribes 
were, who had Tome Religion amongft them : 
this good King was chidden for ir. 

We will rot ride upon Horfes. 
What of creature a Horfe is 5 it is wojjfh 
the feeing, what a defciiption God gives of j 
him, that we may fee what reafbn the Spirit of 
God hath to inftarccin thefor/, faith God to 
lob. Hafl then given the Horfe ftrenfyh ? Haft 
thou clothed his neck with thunder ? Canft thou 
make him afraid <ts a grafbtpper ? The glory $f his 
Noftnlls is terrible : Hepawethiv the valley, and 
rejoyceth tn his ftrength^ hee goethon tomcetethe 
armed men. Be mocketh atfeare, and is not affrigh 
ted : neither turncth he backefrcm thefivord. The 
quiver rat let h againfl him, the glittering jpetre and 
the fin eld. He Jwallowcth the ground with ferce- 
nejft avd rage, wither bdecveth hee that it is the 
found of the trumpet : Hee faith among theTrum- 
pets, Ha, Ha 5 andbee fmelleth the battcllafarreoff, 
the thunder of the Captaincs and the flouting. A 
notable and excellent defcription of this war- ( 
like creature: and yet for all this excellence 
fo defcribed by the Spirit of God, in another 
place, the Pfalmift faith, A Horfe K a vaine thing 
forfafety, neither frail hee deliver any by his great 


Pfal.jj.i7. 7. 


Ka, 1.7. 



5 Seme tru/f^in Chariots and fome i n \ 
Herfes : b M m mil remtmbtr the n*me of the 
Lord our God. So in another place, The Horfe 
isprefaredagaivftthedty of bat tell, ktt vitfory is 
of the Lord. 

How oft have you mtiizPfalwes, that proud i 
warlike creature difparaged, becaufe naturally j 
men are more bewicched with that, then with ! 
any other creature. IfthevhaveftoreofHorfes 
then they thinke they arcftrong. Therefore^ 
Go^d fir bids the King tQ multifile Horfes to bim- 
felft : nor caufe the people to rettirve to &gypt, to \ 
the end hee flmld multifile Hor(es,Stc. Becaufe ! 
God is the ftrength of his Church, when there i 
is no multitude of Horfes: You fee it is a be. 
witching creature,and yet a vaine helpe t A place ! 
like this we have, 7/5.2.7. complaining there i 
erf the naughty people which were among the! 
lewes, at that titneas bad as the Ifraclites. Sairh j 
he, Their land alfe is full offdver and gold ^ net- 1 
tbtr i* there any tnd of their treasures, their land is j 
alfi fullofHorfcs, neither u there any end of their 
Chtrtots. What is there a fault in ihu ^ No, 
Luther faith ? good workes are good, i u: the 
confidence in them is damnable. So gold and 
filv< r,Horfesand Chariots are good creatures of i 
God. But this was their fin, confi tence in thefe 1 
things : there is no end of their treafures - if they 1 
had treafure enough, they fliould doe well e-| 
nough. "Thetr land aljow^fuliof Horfes. Was this I 
a fault * No, but their confidence in them : rh^y i 
thought they were a wife people to havefuch j 
___ furniture! 

Tbt Returning Btckfltdsr* 

furniture and provifion of munition for warrc: 
but God was their King, and the chide govcr- 
nour of his people,and for them to heape up thefc 
things, to truft over much in them, it vvas a mat- 

Thus you fee there is no confidence to be put 
neither in the one nor the other : neither in the 
aflbciationofforraine friends, who will pioove 
deceitfull; reeds of &gypt, that not onely de 
ceive, but the fplinters thereof flie about, and 
may run up into the hind, fuch are Idolaters 
and falfe friends, deceitfull and hurtful!. ^ Isfor 
in //<MWjthere is no truft infftrfes, munition or 
fuch like. What doth this implie, that to wane 
and have provifion in that kinde is unlawful!, 
and unneccfliry, becaufe hee findes fault here 
with Horfcs and the like * No,take heed ofthar, 
for loh# Baftift if the fouldiers profcilion had 
beene unlawful!, he would have bid themcaft 
away their weapons, but hce bids them, Doe 
violence to no man, neither Accufe avy falfely,&C. 
And God would never ftylehimfelfe, rheLord 
ofHofis,- Andaman of wane, wdhctkattetcheth 
our hands to warrc, and our fingers to fight, unlefTe 
i{ were good in the feafon : therefore warreis 
lawfull, feeing in the way to Heaven wee live 
in the midft of enemies. 

Therefore it is but an Anabaptiftical! i ancie, 

to judge warreco be unlawfull : No, no, it is 

! cleane anotlicr thing which the Holy Ghoft 

jaimesac: to beate backe carnall confidence. 

JFor it is an equall tault, to multiplie helpes 


Teat there if 

i Kce /o 

be pur, either iti\ 
Hone, frfor- 
ra gne forces. 


That warre is 





Heb 11:17. 

The Returning Back/Ufa. 

and to ncglefl: them : cither of both are fatal! 
many rimes, to multiplie Horfes trotting in 
them, or to fpoile Horfes and other helpes f 
vainely,fo to weaken s Kingdome. Therefore j 
there is a middle way for all outward things, aj 
fit care to ferve Gods providence, and when 
we have done, truft in God without tempting of 
him, For to negled thcfe helpes is to tempt 
him; and to truft in them (when we have them) 
is to commit Idolatry with them. Beware of 
bcjth thefe extreamts, for God will hwe his 
providence ferved in the ufe of lawfull meanes : 
when there is this great care in a Chriftian 
Common wealth 5 there is a promife of good ! 
fucceflfe: becaufe God is with us .-.otherwife! 
what is all, if he be our enemies So we fee the; 
fecond point made good, That theft outward \ 
things of themfelves cannot helpe. Therefore ! 
comes this in the third place s 

That when God alters and changes and molileth 
aww the heart of aman to Repentance, he altereth\ 
hk confidence in the crsa ure. 

A Chriftian ftare will nottruftin i^jhur, nor! 
in Horfes,K is true both of ftate and perfons. The 
Reafon will follow after in the end of the verfe : 
For in thee the fatherleffe fndeth mercy, Be- 
caifc when a man hath once repented, there is 
a clofing betweene God and him, and he feeth 
an All-fufficiency in God to fttisfie all his 
defires. Therefore he will ufc all other things 
as helpes, and as farre as it may ftaad with his 
favour. For, he hath Utiofcs eye put in him, a j 


Returning Backflider* 

new eye to fee him that isinvifible, to fee God 
in hisgreameiTr, and other things in their right 
eftimate as vainc things. What is Repentance, 
but a change of the minde, when a m Jeromes 

to be wife and judicious, as indeed repentant 
men arc thconcly wife men. Then a man hath 
aneftcemeof God to beeEl-JhaJy, AlUfuffici- 
cnr 5 and all other things to beas they are uncer- 
taine^ that if, they arc foio-day, as that they 
may be otherwife to morrow : for that is the 
nature of the creatures, they are in Potently m 
a poilibility to bee other things then they are. 
Godisalway, lam, alvvay the fame, there is 
not fo much as a fliadow of changing in him. 
Wherefore when the foule hath attained unto 
this fpirituall eye- fight and wifedome^ if it be a 
finnefull afTouadation with Aigypt or i^fjhur, 
with this Idolater or that, he will not meddle 5 
and as for other helpes, hee will not ufc them 
further then as fubordinatemeanes. When a 
man is con verted > hee hath not a double, not a 
divided heart $. to truft partly to God, and partly 
tothe creature : ]f Godfaile him he hath <J///J#r 
and Horfes enough, and aflbciation with all 
round about,but a Chriftian he will ufe all helpes 
as they may ftand with the favour of God, and 
are (ubordinate under him. Now for Trial). 

How fhall we know whether we exceed in this 
confidence in the creature or nor. 

We may know it by adventuring on ill cour- 
fesandcaufes, thinking to bcare them out with 
and with Horfes : butall the mercinary 






2tfe Returning Back/Ufa. 

buldiers in the world, and all the Horfes at I 
lome and abroad, what can they doc when; 
od is angry ? Now, when there is fuch con- 1 
idence in thefe things, as for to outdare God, 
hen there is too much truft in them; that truft 
will end ia confufion, if it be not repented of 5 
for that lifts up the heart in the creature, and as 
he Heathen man obferves, God delights to 
make great Iirtle,and little great It is his daily 
worketo caftdowne mountaines, and exalt the 
cjlleye*. Thofe that are greawnd boaftin their 
greamefle, as if they would command Heaven 
and Eartb, God delights to make their great- 1 
nefle little^and at length nothing, and to raife up 
the day of fmall things. Therefore the Apoftle 
faith, lflre]oyce, it flail be in my infirmities, in 
nothing elfe $ for God delights to fhew ftrength i 
in weakenefle. 

By fecurky and reftingofthe foulein meaner 1 
things 5 never feeking to divine and religious ! 
helpes, when we are fupplied with thofe that j 
ate outward. For thefe people when they tru- 
fted to i^f/yria and JEgypt, thofe falfe fupports 
and fandie foundations, they were carelefle of 
God, and therefore muft truft in fomewhat elfe. 
Wherefore if we fee a man fecure and carelefTe^ 
certainely he trufts too much to uncertaine ri 
ches, to c/4/W, to &gyft, to friends, or to 
outward helpes, his fecurity bewraies that. If 
a man truft God in the ufe of the meanes, his 
care will betokeepeGodhis friend by Repen 
tance and daily excrcifes of Religion, by ma- 

The Returning Back/lider, 

king confcicncc of his duty. But if he truftthe 
tncanes and not God, he will be carelefleand 
weakeingoodduties,dulland flow, and (out of 
the Atheifmecf his heart) cry Tufh> if God do 
not hclpe mee, I fii:ill havchdpc fromfriends 
abroad, and be fupparrcd with this and that ac 
home 3 Horfcsand ihelike>all (hall be well. 
." Let us therefore enter into our ownefoulcs, 
and examine our felvcs, how farre forth weare 
guilty ofthisfinne, andthinkewe oynefb farre 
(horc of Repentance : for the ten Tribes heje, 
the people of God when they repented, fay, 
^{four foall not fave us, wee will not ride upon 
Herfis ; he fpeakes comparatively, astruftedin. 
Therefore let us take heed of that boafting 
vaine-glorious difpofuion nrifing from the fup- 
ply ot the creature: Saich God, Let not the wife 
man glory in Ins wifdome, neither let the mighty 
man glory in bit might, let not the rich man glory m 
his riches : but let him that glorieth, glory in this, 
that he under ft Andtth aad knoweth this, that I am 
the Lord, which vxercife loving kindneffc, judge- 
mwt and right eon (ncfjc m the earth,&c. Let a man 
glorie that hee knowes God in Chrift to be his 
God in the Covenant of grace: that hee hath 
the God ofallftrength, the King of Kings and 
Lord of Lords to be his: who hath all other 
things ct his ccinmand^vho t independant, and 
all-fufficient. If a man will boaft, let him goe 
out of himfelfeto God, and plan: hiniftife there, 
and for otherthings, take heed the heart be nor 
lift up with them. *" 




The Returning Backflidcr. 


That boaftwg 
is idolatry. 





Boafting cau 
fetb blin&ne/e 


Confidcr, what kindc of thing boafting is, it 
is Idolatry 3 for it fets the creature in the place 
and roome of God. And it is alfo fpirituall 
Adulterie, whereby we fixe our affedions upon 
the creature which fhould be placed on God, as 
it is in lames. Te adulterers and adulterers , knew 
ye not that thefriendjhip of the world it enmity with 
God? &c. Habakuk calls it Drunkenncfle, for 
it makes the foule drunk with fottifhneffe and 
conceitednefFe>fo as a man (in this cafe) is never 
fo|per, untill God ftrip him of all. And then 
againe, it puts forth the eye of the foule, it is a 
kinde of white that marres the fight : when a 
man lookes to i^fhur, Horfes, and to outward 
ftrength, where is God all this while * thefeare 
as fo many clouds that they cannot fee God, but 
altogether pore upon the creature: hee feesfo 
much greatneffb there,that God feemes nothing. 
But when a man fees God in his greatnefleand 
almightineffc, then the creature is nothing: but 
untill this be, there is a mift and blindneffe in the 
eye of the foule. 

And when we have feene our guiltineflethis 
way ( as who of us in this cafe may not be con 
founded and afhamed of relying too much on 
outward helpes * ) then let us labour to takeoff 
our foules from thefe outward things, whether it 
be ftrength abroad or at home. Which that we 
may doe, wee muft labour for that Obedience 
which our Saviour Chrift exhorts us unto in 
elfe-defiiatt, not to truft to our owne devifes, 
policie or ftrength 3 wit, will, or conceipts that 


Ibe Returning Batkflider< 

thisorthac may hclpeus, nor any thing: make 
it general!. For when conversion is wrought, 
and the heart is turned to God, it turnes from 
the creature, onely ufing it as fubordinate to 
God. We fee ufually, men that exalt them- 
felves in confidence either of ftrength, of wit, or 
whatfoever, they are fucceffelefTe in their ifllie : 
for God delights to confound them, and goe 
beyond their wit : as we have i^lfa.^o. They 
thought to goe beyond God with their policie, 
they would havehtlpcoutof &gypt, this and 
that way. O faith the Prophet : but for all th*s, 
God is wifeto fee through all your devices: fe- 
crctly hereby touching them to the quick, as 
fottifli perfons who thought by their fhallow 
brainestogoe beyond God 5 you thinke Reli 
gious courfes> and the obedience Godprefcri- 
bcth to y ou,to be idle need leffe courfes, but not* 
withftjnding God is wife, he will goe beyond 
you, and catch you in your owne crafr. There- 
fore, the flrcngtb of Pharaoh tyallbt yourflamt^, 
and the trufl in the jhadow of&gypt yotw cenfufion. 
Thus God loves to fcatter Babtls Fabriquesand 
Holds that are ere&ed in confidcnceof humane 
ftrength againft him-, he delights to catch the 
wife in their owne craft 5 to beat all downe, lay 
all high imaginations and things flat before 
him; that no flefh may glory in his fight. There 
istothispurpofe a notable place in Jfay. Beheld 
all yee that kindle afre> that cempaffe yourfefoes 
about with ftwrkes : ( for they kindled a fire 
and had alight of their owne, and would not 



fa. $ 5- 1 

The Returning BaAfltder. 

Danger ofcar> 
nail confidence, 

borrow light from God :) walke in the light of 
your fire, and in the Jparks that ye have kindle^ 
but what is the conclusion of all ? This fiatt ye 
have of mine hand, Jdare aflureyouofthis, faith 
the Prophet: YoufbAllliedorvneinforrew : thofe 
that walke by che light and fparkc of their owne 
fire ; this they (hall have at Gods hands 5 they 
fhall lie dovvne in forro w. 

Let us therefore take heed of carnall confi 
dence. You have a number who love to fleepe 
in a whole skinne, and will be fure to take the 
faieft courfes (as they thinke ) not confuting 
with God, but with fiefli and blood. It might 
be inftanced I D (lories of former times, how 
God hath crofted Emperours and great men in 
this kind^were it not too tedious. But forprefent 
Snftance, you have many who will be of no fet- , 
led Religion^ O they cannot tell, there may be 
a change, therefore they will be fure to offend 
neither part: this is their policie, and if they be 
in place, they will reforme nothing; Olfhall 
lay my felfe open to advantages, and ftirre up 
enemies againft me : and fo they will nortruft 
God, but have carnall devices to turneoffall 
dutv whatfoever. Jc is an ordinary fpecch, but 
very true : Policie overthrowes Politic. It is true 
of carnall Policie 3 when a man goes by carnall 
rules to be governed by Gods enemy, and his 
owne 5 with his owne wit and underftanding, 
which leads him to outward things : this kind 
of Policie overthrowes allpolicieand outward 
governement at length. Thofe that walke re- 

The R eturning Back/lider. 

lig iQufly and by rule,thcy walke moft confident 
ly and fccurcly as the ifTue will (hewj Therefore, 
confider that (fetGodafide) all is but vanity, 
And that 

Firft, in regard they do not yecld that which 
wcexpeftthcy fhfculd yecld : thcreisafalfhood 
in the things , they promifc this and that in 
ftewes, butwhenwepofleffethem^ thcyyedd 
it not 5 as they have no ftrcngth iff deed, forhey 
deceive. Then al(b>7#w0 is 4 mutability in them ; 
for there is nothing in the world but changes, 
there is a vanity of -corruption in them 5 all 
things at laft come to an end, lave God, who is 
unchangeable. Then againe befides the in- 
rinfecall vanity in all outward things, and 
vhatfoever carnal I reafon leads unto, They 
are fnarcs and baitcs unto us, to draw us &way 
from G&d, by reafon of the vanity of our nature, 
vainer then the things themfelves : therefore 
aie heed of confidence in any thing, or elfe this 
vill be the iffbe, wee (hall be worfe then the 


of vanities, all things are 

vanity, and man himfelfe is lighter then vanity 
liththe Pfalmiftj hee that trufts to vanity is 
vorfc then vanity, a man cannot ftarenon ftante, 
ftand on a thing that cannot ftand it felfe a 
man cannot ftand on a thing that is mutable and 
changeable, if hee doth, he is vshe with the 
thing. Even as a pidfcure drawneupon ice, as the 
ice diffolves, fo th e pidlure vaniflieth away. So 
it is with ail confidence in the creature tohatfoe- 
|vc r, it is like a pi<5hire upon ice, which vaniflieth 

G with 

the creature 
fo empty. 


They deceive 
our ex 


They are muta 

They arefnar 
and baiter u 

E ccicfi 

The Returning BackflideK 

i Cor.i.xs, 

J with the things themfelvcs. He that ftandsupon 
1 a flippery thing,flips with the thing he (lands on. 
If there were no word of Godagainftit, yet this 
i much may be fufficient out of the Principles of 
Reafon, tolhew the follyoftruftingto<^y&0r 
and Htrfes and the like. 

Let this be the end of all then touching this 
carnal! confidence, to beware that we doe not 
faften our affe<Sions too much upon any earthly 
thing,at home or abroad j within or without our 
felves: f or, G od willdejlroy the wifedomeofthemfe$ 
let us take heed therefore of allfalfe confidence 
whatfoevcr. Letus ufeall outward helpes,yct fo 
as to relic upon God for his blefling in the ufe of ! 
all. And when they all ftile ; be oflchofoaphi 
a| minde, Lord,we know mt what to doe,the creature 
failesus, ourhelpesfaileus, tut our eyes are upon 
thet. So when all outward Ajhws and fforfes and 
helpes faile,dcfp3irenot^forthc Jeffe helpe there 
is in the creature, th c more there is in God . As 
Gideon with his Army,when he thought to carrie 
it away with multitude : God told him there 
were too many of them to get the vidory by, 
leaft Ifrael fhould v-auntthemfelvesof their num 
ber : and fo leflened the armie to three hundred. 
So it is not the meanes, bur the blefling on the! 
meanes which helpes us. If we beneverfolow,! 
difpairenot, let us make God ours, who is All- 
fufficienc and Almighty, and then if we were 
brought a hundred rimes lower then we are,God 
will hclpe and raifc us.Thofe who labour not co 
[have Gad the Eord of Hofts to goe out with 

the si 

The Returning Backflider< 


heir Armies, if they had all the <^4 fours anc 
//0r/rjhitheworld,all were in vaine.Itwasthcr- 
forc a good refolution ofMtfes, faith he to God 
if thy pre fence go not with us, ftrrie us not hence, h< 
would not goe one ftep forward without God 
fo if we cannot make God our friend to goe ou 
before us, invaincit is to goe one ftep forward 
Let us therefore double our care in holy duties, 
renewing our Covenant with God, before the 
decree come out againft us : the more religious, 
the more fecurewefliallbc.\ If wee had all the 
creatures in the world to help us, what arc they 
^ut vanity and nothing, if God be our enemy. 
Thcfe things we know well enough for notion, 
>ut let us labour to bring them home for ufc in 
hcfc dangerous times abroad. Let us begin 
where we (hould, that our worke may be efpe- 
cially in Heaven. Let us reforme our lives,bcing 
moderately careful 1, as Chriftians (hould with 
out tempting Gods providence,ufing rightly all 
cvill , upportssnd hclpcs, feafonably and to the 
bcftadvantage: for (as wasfaid)thecare- 
lefncflfc herein for dcfence,may proove 
as dangerous and fatall to a State, 
as the too much confidence 
and truft in 

The end of the third Sermon. 

G a THE 





Hos 4 14. }J 

not fine us, we win uot ride upon 
Horfes, neither will we fay anymore to the 
works of our hands , ytareourgods) for in 

E fhewed you heretofore at 
large, how the Spirit oi 
God by the Prophet, doth 
here didate^i forme of tur 
ning unto chefc ifraelipes 
Take unto you wordcs, anc 
then teacheth them wha 
j they ihould rerurne backe againe;Thanks ; ^^ m 
me render the Calves of our. l/ps, wherein they 
(hew two things, z*. That they have no grea 


The Returning Backflider. 


- .. l 

matters to render, Oxen or Skt*fei&G\ 2, They,^ ER y 
| flie w what is moft pleafing unto God, The Calves 
of our lips; that is, thankcfgiving from a broken 
; heart, which (as the ?/*/#/ fpeakes) pleafeth 
jGod better then a bullocks that hath homes and 
koofa. But this is not enough, the Holy Ghoft 
therefore doth prcfcribe them together with 
j Prayer and Thankefgiving, Reformation, /f/W 
\fiall not fave u*> wee will not ndettjon Horfes, 
\r: either will we fay any more to the workes of our 
^ hands , ye are our gods, fir in thee the fathers/ft 
\fndeth mercy. So that here you have Reform*- 
\ tion joy ned with Prayer and Praife. Whence we 
obfervcd divers things, That without Refor 
mation our Prayers are abhomihable : That in 
Repentance there muftbe Reformation of our 
fpeciall finne, which here they doe. Taie this 
one thing more in the third place, which /hall be 
added to the former. 

In Reformation, we muft got not onely to the out 
ward delinquencies, but to the tyring of them } which 
is feme breach of the first "Table. 

The root of all finne is the deficiency of 

obedience to fome command ofthefirft Table, 

when confidence is not pitched aright in God, 

or when it is mifapplyed, and misfaftened to 

the creature : when the {oulefets up ibmewhat 

foraftay and propuntoit, which it fhouldnot 

doe, this is a ipirituall and a fubtle fifcne, and 

j nwft be repented of, as here, ^fhffrJh^U not 

fave ^,&c. It \^ei e good therefore far all thofc 

who ferioufly intend the woike of Repentance, 

G 3 to 


Tie Roote J 
aftfm whence. 



The Returning Backjlider. 

o take this courfc. Jf the groffe fault be of the 
r eco*d Table , take occafion of forrow and 
nourning thence ; but when you have begunne 
there, relolve and bring all to the breeding finne 
of all, which is, the faftning ofthefoulefalfly: 
when it is not well fattened and bottomed in the 
root. And therefore it was well done by Lu 
ther, who in a Catechifme of his brings in the 
Firft Commandemcnt into all the Commnnde- 
ments of the firft and fecond Table. Thou fialt 
ha^eno other Gods but me. Therefore thou fhalt 
fan&ifie the Sabbath ; Honour thy Father and 
<JM other, fhalt not take mj name in vaine : fhalt 
not Commit Adultery, ihalt not ji tale, &c. Br- 
caufe hee that hath no god but that God in his 
hearf> willbefuretofandlifierhe^^^^ Ho 
nour his Father and sJMother, riot Commit Adul 
tery, norftealc. And whence come all the brea 
ches of the Second Table ? Hence, that there 
is not the true feare and love of God in our 
hearts, and it is juft with God for their fpi- 
rituall finnes, to give them up to carnall and 
grofle finnes. Therefore,though the Ifraelites 
here, had many groffe finnes to repent of, yet 
they goe to the fpring head, the breeding finne 
of &\\^falfe Confidence-^ this is to deale throughly, 
to goetothecore. Afhur JbaUnot faveus,wem/l 
not rids uf on tforfes. Erom whence in the third 
place, they defcend to the next branch of their 
iinnz, idolatry. 

Neither will we fay any more if the work es ofwr 
I hands ,ye we eurgods. 
\ All 

The Returning Baekflidtr. 

All fulfc confidence hath twoobjcfts, for if 
is alwaies either, 

1. Outo 

2 . In Religion. 

For the firft, all ill confidence and trnjl if it be 
out of Religion^ is in the cv^w<r,eithcr 

2 . 

Jn ourfelves. 

as here. Neither will we fay ay mere to the rvorkes of 
ottr hands, ye are our gods. Obferve hence in jjb 
firft place, 

naturally u front to Idolatry. 

The ftory of the Bible and of all Ages fticw- 
cth how prone men arc to Idolatry and will- 
worfhip, and what mifcries enfued thereupon. 
Amongft other inftances, we fee howprefent- 
ly after that breach in vhe Kingdome ofDaviJ 
and Salomon, by Jeroboams ferting up of two 
Calves, how fuddenly they fell to Jdolatry, fo 
that after that there was not one good King 
amongft them all, until! the nation was de- 
ftroyed. And fo in the ftory of their Antiqui- 
ties> fee how prone they were to Idolatry in the 
wildernefle 5 tJMofis doth but goe up to the 
Mount, and they fal 1 to Idolatrie ; caufe ^arotf 
to make a Calfe,and dance round about it. The 
thing is fo palpable, that it need not be ftood 
upon, That mans nature is prone to Idolatry, 
which will notraife up it felfeto God, but fetch 
God to it fclfe, and conceive of him according 
to itsfalfe imaginations. 

G 4 Now! 


That men are 
naturafly prone 
to idolatry. 



The Returning Back/litter, 

Now Idolatry is two waies committed in | 
the falfe hollow and deceitfull heart of man: 

i. By attributing to the creature that whkk is : 
f refer toGodondy ; invejltng it with Gods Proper- \ 


. By worjhipping the true Gad in a falfe manner. \ 

So that in the fiift place, Idolatry is to invert | 
the creature with Gods properties. Goe to the j 
higheft creature, Chrifts Humane nature ; we 
hav^ fome bitter fpirks ( Lutherans they call 
them ) Prof eftants j who attribute to the hu 
mane natureof Chrift, ehat which onely is pro 
per to God, to be every where,and therefore to 
be iathe Sacrament. You have fome come 
ticere them, both in their opinion and in their j 
bitternefTe., They will have -a nefcioquomodo^ 
Chrift is there though they know not how 5! 
but this is to make Chrifts humane nature a i 
god,, to make an Idoll of if. So prayers to 
Saints and Angels, this makes Idols of them, 
becaufe it inveftsfhem with properties to know 
our hearts, which he muft know unco whom we 
pray. And then 5 it gives unto them that which is 
proper to God, Worfhip But 5 we 
muft call upon none, but whom we muft be- 
leeve in., and we muft beleeve in apne but God. 
Therefore, worfliipping of Saints 6j; Angels is 

Secondly, Idolatry is to worfhip the tnXGcd 
in a f ilfemanner, tofixe his prefence to that we 
not fixe it to, to annexe it to Statues, 


The Returning Backjhder. 

Images, Crucifixes, the pifture of the Virgin 
cjtf *ry and the like. Not to run into the com 
mon place of Idolatry, butto come home unto 
our {elves. Whether are the Papifts Idolaters 
or nor, like unto thefe I (radices, who fay (being 
converted ) neither will we fay wto the workes of our 


-,yc*rt a 

I anfwer, yes, as groffc as ever 
were, and worfe. The very Agyftians, they 
\vorfhippednoneforgods, but thole who were 
alive, as- a Papifi himfelfe faith, ( though he 
were an honcft Papift) The &gyfti*ns $&. 
(hipped living creatures, but we are worfe then 
they, for we worfhip (locks and (tones, and a 
peece of bread in the Sacrament. And to this 
purpofe, one of their Jefuites confefTeth this, 
and yecldeth the queftion for granted 5 That 
if there be not aTranfubftantiation-ofchebread 
turned into the body and blood of Cbriflr, we 
are worfe Idolaters thcnthefeand thefe nations : 
becaufe wcworfhip a peece of bread, which is 
a dead thing. But we aflame (according to the 
Scriptures, The Judgement of our Church,, o! 
Antiquity, and of die Truth it felfc) the bread 
is not Tranfubftantiated, acleaft it is a doubtful 
matter ; for if it be not the intention of the Prieft 
it is not : fee here, upon what hazard they put 
the foules of people. 

But they have many flnfts forthemfelves, as 
among the reft this is one, that they doe not 
worfliip the image, but God or Cnrift before 

the Image. 







The Returning Back/lider. 

SBR. nil. rj ^i^ t he anfwcr is, That the Fathers 
w ho wrote againft the Heathens meet with this 
Picture, The Pagans had this excufe, we wor- 
of /mages an- I (hip not this ftatue offafiur, but Itfiur him- 
felfe. Thusthey have no Allegation for them- 
felves, but the Heathen had the fame which the 
Ancient Fathers confuted. They are guilty of 
Idolatry in both the forenamed kindcs : For 
firft, They worfhip things that they fliould not, 
asappearesby their invocation of Saints, vows 
tothcm,their Temples, Altars and the like, full 
of thfcir Images, giving them honour due unto 
God. And then,thcy worfhip the true God in 
a falfc manner before their Images, there is no 
kinde of Idolatry, but they aregroflely guilty of 
it. Whereof let this be the Ufe. 

Firft of all, tfThwkcfullnefle^ that God hath 
brought us into Gojbc,\nto a Kingdome of light 
that we are borne in a time and place of know- 
ledg of the true God, wherein is the true worfhip 
of the true God* It is a matter that we cannot b< 
too thankful 1 to God for. How (hall we (hew ou 
felves thankfull? In keeping faft the true worihip 
of God we have,and keeping out Idolatry; in re 
viving lawes in that kind, if not making new. 
What if there were liberty given for men togoe 
about the countrie to poyfon people, would we 
endure fuch perfons,and not lay hold uponthem; 
fo in that wee are freed from Jefuites who goc 
about to poyfon the foules of Gods people, let 
us (hew our thankefullnefle for this, and fhun 
Idolatry of all forts whatfoever. 

The Returning Backjlider. 

Secondly, fee from hence, that there can be 
notollerationof that Religion, no more (as was 
faid) then to fuflfcr and tollerate poyfoners; as 
they (aid of Colloqnintidain their pottage: fo 
there is dtttb in thefot of Rmijb Religion. There 
fore it were good tocompcll them to come in 
and ferve the Lord their God : as it is faid, gooc 
lojtab compelled thofe in his trae to ferve the 
Lord ; fo it were good fuch courfes were taken 
to reformc and reclaims them. As Saint o/ 
guftine faidofhimfelfe in his time, being aP>0- 
nttifli he altered his judgement by force 5 in 
which cafe, it would be with them as with chil- 
dren,who whenthey areyoung,muft be forced 
to fchoolc; but afterwards, they thankethem 
who forced them. So it is in Religion, though 
it cannot be forced, yet fuch might afterwards 
blcffe God for them who brought them to the 
meanes, who infteed of their blindneffe trained 
them up in more knowledge, by forcing them 
to ufcthe meanes ; for which(when God fliould 
open their eyes) they might bleffe God another 
day. But this point of grofle Idolatry (fo largely 
bandied in Bookcs ) is oncly touched by Hie 
way,that we (nay hate Idolatry the more: which 
could not be left out, the words leading to fay 
feme what of it,fceing how thefc Convens heere 
hate ir, and out of chat hatred make this profcf- 
fion : neither witt we [ay anj more to theworkesof 
our bands, ye are our g*fr,&c. 

But chis is not all, wee mud know that there 
be othci 4 Idols then the Idols which we make 


SER. Illl. 

a Kings..j.4o. 


s fi R. mi. 


The Returning Backjlider. 

with our hands : bdides thcfe Religions Idols, 
there be Secular Idols in the world 5 fuchasmcn i 
fee up to themfclvcs in their own c hearts. What- 1 
foever takes up the heart moft, which they attri- ! 
bute more to then to God, that is their Idoll, \ 
their god. A mans lew, a mans jfor* is his ! 
god. If a man fcarc greatncffc rather then God, | 
that he had rather difpleafe G od then any great j 
perfon,they are his Idols for the time. The f care \ 
of man brings a fare, faith the Wifeman, and 
thf>fe who to get the favour of any in place, fa- 
crifice therefore their Credit, Profeffion, Reli- j 
gionand foules 3 it is grofle Idolatry, dangerous j 
to the ptrty, and dangerous to themfelves. It 
was the ruine of Herod to have that applaufe gi 
ven hi m,and taken by him, Thcwiceof Gotland 
not ofntAn. So for any to be blovven up with 
flatterers that lift them up above their due mea- 
furc, it is an exceeding wrong to them, prejudi- 
ceth their comfort, and will proove ill in the 
conclufion,indeedtreafon againft their foules. 

So there is a bafer fort of Idolaters, who fa- 
crifice their credit and ftate, whatfoever is good 
within them, their whole powers, to their bafe 
and filthy pleafures. Thus mijn is degenerate 
fince his fall, that he makes that his god, which 
is meaner then himfelfe. Man that was ordained 
for everLifting happineflfe and Communion 
with God, is now brought to place his happi- 
ncfleand contentment in bafe plcafures. Where 
as it is with the fouleofmanfbrgw^or///, as it 
applies it felfeto that which is greater or mea 


The Returning Back/lider* 

nerthen it felfe. If it apply it felfe to confidence 
and affiance in God, then it is better, for it is the 
happinefTe of the fonle to have Communion 
with the fpring of goodncffe, as D/iivWfpeakes, 
It Is goodfor we to drawnecre to GW 5 &c. when we 
differ the foule ro cleave in affiance to earthly 
things, itgrowes in fome meaftire to the nature 
of the things adhered too: when we love the 
world and earthly things, we are earthly. Till 
the Spirit of God touch the foule ( as the load- !< 
Gone doth the heavy iron drawing it up aj it 
were) it will cleave to the creature, to bafer 
things then it felfe, and fo makes the creature an 
Idoll, which is the common Idolatry of thefe 
times. Some make.F<tt>0w,as the ambitious per- 
fon: fome their Pleaftres^s bafer perfons of mea 
ner condition : and fome Riches^ every man as 
their temper and as their temptations are. 

Now it is not enough to be found in Religion 
one way inthemaine, but we mufl bee found 
every way, without any touch of Idolatry. In 
a fpeciall manner, the Apoftle calls the Cove 
tous man an Idolater , bccaufe he makes his riches 
his Caftle, thinking to carrie anything with his 
wealth, but his riches oftentimes proove his 
ru ; ne; for whatfoever a man loves more then 
God, God will make it his baine and ruine: at 
leaftbe fure to take it away, if God meaneto 
favethe parry :Thereforc>here they fay; ^Aflwr 
frail not (live M)V>e will not ride upon Horfes, neither 
will we fay any mere to the works of our bands, ye are 
our gods. 




9 6 

The Rttwnirg 

That fnnef 

bitternejfe cau* 
fttb Repen 


Tor in tkee the Fa^crlejjefndctb mercy. 
Here he flvw .s .he Rcajbn ot their rejecting 
of all falie m o<//Zwr, in Horfes, in 

idols: becaufe rhty had planted their confidence 
iachc true God. They iad to when they had 
fm irced bv ^ilur^nd by IdoUtry .-then cJ//Jr 
_^4ff ^^ /^^ /^,&c. Thry knew it by rule be 
fore, bu: ill Ood p "gu drhem 5 as he did oft by 
i^dfhur and by JBLgyft, when he broke the reed 
that if did notoriety not uphold rhem, but run 
into their hand^they made no fuch acknowledg 
ment, hence obferve, 

Vfually it is thus with man^ be never refents till 
ft me be imbittmdtehim. 

He never alters his confidence, till his trufts 
be taken away 5 when God overthrowes the 
mold of his dcvifes, or brings them upon his 
ownehead, fetting himtoreapethefruitofhis 
owne wayes ; imbittering (innefull courfes to 
him, then hee returnes. Inftruftion without 
corre&ion, doth for the moft part little good. 
When Aflinr had dealt falfeJy with them, and 
Idolstry would doe them jio good, then they 
begin to alter their judgement. What makes 
men after too much confidence in their wit, 
when they have by their plots and devifesgone 
beyond what they fliould doe, and wrapped 
andintangled themfelves in a net of their owne 
weaving(as we fay)alrcr < heir judgement * They 
are then become fide of their owne devices, this 
makes the change. For till then, the braine 
hsth a kinde of net to wrap our devices in. So 


The Returning Backflider % 

many have nets in their braines, wherewith 
they intangle thcmfelves and others with their 
idle devices : which when they have done, and 
fo woven the wcb.b of their owne mifcry , then 
they begin to fay, as the Heathen faith when 
he was deceived. Ofoole am I, I was never a 
wife man. Then they begin to fay, I was a 
foole to truft fuch and fuch. I have tried fuch 
and fuch policies, and they have deceived me, I 
will now alter my conrfe. And furely , men of 
great parts are feldome convcrted,t|ll God con 
found their plots, and laies flat all their falfe 
confidence. When ^/hur difappoints them, 
then Ajbur/haflnotfave ?,&c. 

Therefore make this Ufe of it, not to bee 
difcouraged when God doth confound any 
carnall ploror policie of ours, astothinke that 
God hates either a Nation or a Peifon, when 
they have ill fuccefle in plots and proje&s 
which arc not good. Nay, it is a figne rather 
that God intends good , if they make a right 
ufe of it. God intends conversion, to trar flate 
falfc confidence from the creature to himfelfe, 
and to learne us to make God wife for us. It is 
a happy thing when in this world God will dif- 
appoinramanscourfes and counfclls, andbring 
him to (hame, rather then he fliould goe oa and 
thrive in an evill and carnall courfe, and foto 
end his dales. The re is no evidence at all which 
can be given of a Reprobate, becaafe there may 
be fin*. 11 Repentance, Repentance at the laft. 
But this is one, and as fearefull a figne as m 

The Returning Back/lidtr. 

jSER. I IIL j be, to thrive and goe on in an evill courfe to the 
end. When God (hall difappoint and biing a 
I man tofhameinthat he prided in, and built up- 
j on, Ic is a good figne ; if thereupon we take ad- 
| vantage to tame to God, and lay a better bot- 
tome and foundation, as we fee here, 4jh*rjhall 
not faye Wyive will not ride upon Horfes,8tc. 

For in thee the Fa kerleflefndsth mercy. 
As if he (houldfay, wee have that fupply of 
ftrength and comfort from thbe, that ^/f/few, 
Horfes and Idols cannot give : Therefore wee 
will alter our confidence, to fixe and pitch it 
upon thee, and truft thee, becaufe, In thee the 
Father lejfc fivdeth mercy . We {hall not need to 
fay, in thes will we truft 5 for, if God be appre 
hended thus, as one in whom the Fatherle/e 
findeth mercy ^ affiance will follow. For, the ob- 
jc<a istheattra&iveand load-ftoneofthefoule, 
fothat if afitobie&be prefented unto it, Affi 
ance, Confidence and Truft will of it felfe fol 
low. Therefore the Spirit of God forbeares 
multiplication of words, and fets downe this: 
For in thee the Faiherlefiefndeth mercy : and doth j 
not fay, in thee will we tr&Jl, for that is implied 5 
whofoever conceives that God is fo gratious 
and mercifullto defpicable rniferable perfons : 
fuch as are fet downe in this one particular, 
FMhcrleffe : they cannot but truft in God, there 
fore, the one is put for the other : For in thee the 
F atherleffefndeth mercy . Whence, from the de- 
pendance of the words obferve, 

That it is not fufficiem to dtf claim* affancein 


The Returning Backslider. 

the creature, but we m*Jl pitch that affiance aright 
upon God. 

We muft not onely take it off where it fliould 
not be placed, but fet it where it fhould be. Ceafe 
from evilly andlearne to doe well. Truft not in the 
creature. Ceafe from wan (as the Prophet faith) 
whofe breath is in his Notf rills $ Commit thy WAIGS 
toGodjruflinhim. The Heathen by the light 
of nature knew this, that for the Negative, there 
jisnotruftingin the creature, which is a vainc 
thing, they could fpeake wonderful! wittily 
and to purpofeof thcfe things, efpecially tne 
Stoicks. They could fee the vanity of the crea 
ture: but for the IY/z/? impart, where to place j 
their confidence, that they were ignorant in. 
Andfo, for the orher part here; Neither mil 
wee fay any more to the workes of our hands yec 
are our gods. Idolaters can fee the vanity of falfe 
gods well enough. In Italy you have thoufands 
of the v. uticr and learneder fort who fee the fol 
ly and madnefle of their Religion. And among 
our felves,how many witty men can difclaime 
againft Popery, whoyet in their lives and con- 
verfations are not the better for it : becaufe they 
thinke it enough to fee the error that mifleades 
them, though they never pitch their confidence 
as they (hould doe. It knot enough therefore to 
reft in the Negative part. A Negative Chrifti- 
anis noChriftian, not to be an Idolater, notto 
>e a Papift,no there muftbe fomewhat elfe, wee 
muft bring forth good fruit, or elfc wee are for 
hefire, and arc neere to curfing and burning. 

H This 

// is much eaj 
er to fee the 
vanity cfi tbe 
to hno 

Mat. j. to, 


The Returning Backfliden 



6 ^ 

This is fpoken the rather, becaufe many thinke 
themfelves well, when they can difclaime a- 
gainft the errors of Popery, and that they are 
good Chriftians, becaufe they can argue well. 
O,fuch make Religion nothing but a matter of 
opinion.of canvafing an argument^. But, it is 
another manner of matter T ^A divine Power ex- 
ercifedufon thefoule>whereby it is transformed in- 
tothe obedience of divine truth, and molded into it. 
SothattheremuftbeaP0//vw,as well as a Ne 
gative Religion, a cleaving to God, as well as a 
forfaking of Idols. 

Againe, in the fevering of thefe Idols from 
God,we muft know and obferve hence, 

That there it no Communion bctwcene God and 

Neither mil me fay any more to the workes of 
our hands, ye are our gods $ for intheeth* Father- 
leffefndeth mercy. There muft be a renouncing 
of falfeworfhip,. Religion, and confidence, be 
fore we can truft in God. Tt cannot ferve God ana 
Mm6Jn(*\^ Chrift. We cannot ferveChrift 

and Antichrift together, we may as well bring 
North and South, Eaft and Weft together, anc 
mingle light and darkenefTe, as mixc two oppc 
fite Religions.. Youfeehere 3 one of them i 
disclaimed, ere affiance be placed In rheo:her 
Therforethe halters betwixt two Religions ar 
heere condemned. It was excellent well fail 
by IftftffA ^hey had there feme mixture o 
i falfeworihip, and thought therewith to fervi 
alfo Iet:ovah;nQ (faith h e) you cannot fervele 

The Returning BackflMer* 

hovah. What is lojlmahs meaning, when he faith 
they could not ? not oncly that they had ?; 
power of themfelves; but you are a naughty 
falfe people, you thinke to jumble Gods wor- 
fli-p^ndthat of Heathens together; you cannot 
fcne God thus. So a man may fay to thofc \vho 
looke Jfaw^wards for worldly ends> and yet 
will be Proteftants, yet* cannot ferve God, you 
cannot be found Chriftians, halting thus be 
twixt both. Thefe are not compatible, they 
cannot ftand together; you muft difclairne Wie 
one, if you will cleave to the other, we fee the 
ground heere : Neither will wee fay any more to 
the workes of our hands, ye are our gods ^ for t in tkct 
the Fatherleffe fndeth mercy. 

Againe, whereas upon difclaiming of falfc 
confidence in the creatures and Idols, they 
name this as a ground, For in thce the Fatherlefie 
findtth mercy ; obferve, 

In meafure and degree we apprehend God 
right to betheAlLfufficient true God \%n that mea- 
fure we caftaway all falfe confidence what fever. 

The more or Icflc weconceiveof God as we 
loulddoc, fothe more or leflewee difclaime 
onfidcncc in the creature. Thofewhoin their 
ffcdiors of joy^ love, affiance and delight, are 
iken up too much with the creature (lay what 
hey will) profcfTe to all rhc world by their 
)ralife, that they know not God. Bythecon- 
rary, thofc who know and apprehend him in 
iis greatneffeandgoodnefle, as hee (houldbe 
^prehendcd, in that proportion they with- 

H 2 draw 




Wtyilot world 

ans efcaped 
Irom tfam 

The Returning Backflider. 

draw their affc&ions from the creature and all 
things elfe. It is with the foulc in this cafe, as! 
with a ballance, if the one skale be drawne 
downe by a waight put in it, the other is lifted 
up. So where God weighs downe in the foule, 
all other things are light, and where other 
things prevaHe, there God is fet light* Lsf/lwr 
{ball netfave us^ for hce can doe us no good: 
nor Horfes, becaufc they arc vaine helps. How 
attained they to this light efteeme of ^fiur 
(J Horfes? Fcr in ihee the F atherleffe fnJeth\ 
mercy. That which is tak^n from the creature 
they find in God. And this is the ELeafon why 
the world fo maligne good and found Cbrifti- 
ans, they thinke, when God gets, that they 
loofe a feather (as wee fay) fome of their 
ftrength : furely fo it is y for when a Chriftian 
turnes to God and becomes found, he comes to 
havcameane efteeme of that which formerly 
wasgrcat inhisfightj his judgement is other- 
wife, as we fee here, 4jhur, Horfes, Idols, and 
all they efteeme nothing of them . Horfes and the 
Ijke arc good, ufcfull and neceflfary to ferve 
Gods providence in the ufe of mcanes, not to] 
truftin or make co-ordinate with God. In the; 
world efpecially great pcrfbns would-be gods 
in the hearts of peoples therefore,, when they 
fee any make confcience of their waies ;, they 
thinke they loofe them;, becaufenow they will 
doe nothing but what may ftand with the favour 
of God. ThusfarrefronuheC^^A:/^. Now 
tothe words themfelves. 


The Returning Backflider, 

ForintbeetheFatherleJftfindcth mercy. 
Wherein we have fee forth unto us for our 
confederation cf Gods rich goodnefTe towards 
poore miferable finners. 

1. The Attribute of God, t^tcrcy . 

2 . The ft Object thereof, The Fatherlejfe. 
CUercy is Gods fwecteft Attribute^ which 

fweetneth all his other Attributes ^ for but for 
Mercy, whatfccverelfe is in God, were matter 
of terror to us. His Jufticc would affright us: 
His Holincffelikewife (confidering our impuri 
ty) would drive us from him : Depart from me 
(faith Peter to our Saviour) for 1 am afwncfull 
man ; and when the Prophet Ifay faw God in 
his excellencie a little: Then he faid, wot time, 
for I am undone^ Becwfe lam a man ofunclcdne 
ltps,&c. llis Power is terrible, it would con 
found us,His Majefty aftonifh us. O,but Mer 
cy mitigates all, hcthatis;great inMajefty is 
abounding in mercy; he that hath beames of 
Majefty hath bowels of raercy. O, thisdraw- 
eth, efpecially miferable perfons. In thte the 
Fatherlejfifndethmzrcy. And now, in the Co- 
vcnanttf Grace, this mercy fets all a worke. 
For it is the mercy of God by which wee tri 
umph now in the Covenant of Grace, in that 
mercy which ftirr d up his wifedome to finde 
out a way for mercy by fatisfying his lattice : 
So that the firft mooving Attribute of God 
that fet him avvorkc about that great worke 
of our falvation, by Jefus Chrift-, in the Co- 
venant of Grace, was mercy 5 his tender mercy, 

H 9 his 


Mercy is tbv 
foeet Attribute 


partake of aft 
tbe reft. 

Lake .*. 



The Returning Backjltdtri 

SBR. IIIL; his bowels of mercy : Therefore of all others, 

that Attribute is here named 5 for in tfae tkt^> 

Fatberleffe findtth mercy. 

Mercy in God fuppofcth mifery in the crea- 

ture,either prefcntorpoflible: for there is i. A 

Preventing. 2 . A refcuing mercy. 

A Preventingmercy, whereby the creature is 
freed from poffible mifery, that it might fall 
into, as it is his mercy that we are not fiichfin- 
ners in that degree as others are -, and every man 
that hath underftanding is beholding to God 
for t% their Preventing, as well as for their 
Refcuing mercy. Wee thinke God is mercifull 
onely to thofe unto whom he forgives great 
fins: O, he is mercifull to thee that ftandeth, 
thou mighteft have fallen fowly elfc. Mercy 
fuppofeth mifery either that wee are in or may 
fall into. So that mercy in God may admit of j 
a threefold confidcration. 

1. It fuppofeth Sinnc; 
mercy for that. Or 

2. <JWifery, that is, z Delivering mercy. Or 

3 . Defetf or want in the Great m, which i$>Sttp- 
flying mercy. 

Whcrfoever mercy is converfanr, it isufually 
about one of thefe three, either Binnc^ or Mifery, 
or Defetts and wants, that is, to Perfonsin mi 
fery : for indeed the word is more general 1 then 
Fatberlejfe 5 Deferred perfons, that are forfaken 
of others, and have no ftrength of their owne, 
they are heere meant by the Fathtrle(f? y who 
have no meanes, wifedome, power or ability of I 


The Returning Back/litter* 

their ownc, but arc deferred and forfaken of 
others,whcnccthe chiefc truth that offers it felfe 
to beconfidcrcd of us is this, 

That God is cfyeeiafly mercifull to thefe Per fins 
who flan A mo ft in need of mercy. 

Firft, becaufc thefe dot relifi mercy mofl, 
and give him the glory of it, applying them- 
fclves moftto.his mercy* being beaten out of 
the creature : and the more we have communi 
on with God being driven out of the creature 
and other comforts,the more he difcovers him- 
tlfetous: asthencererwe are to the fire, the 
lottcritis, fothc neercr wee are to God, the 
more good andgratious hce every way fliewes 
limfelfe unto us. Now what makes us necrc 
iim,but extremity of mifery, whereby we arc 
>caten from all other holds whatfoevcr. It is 
acknowledged to be his worke, when hec doth 
t for thefc that are deferred of all others^ then 
ic hath the chiefe glory of it. This is one end 
why God fuffers his children to fall into cxtrea- 
mity of great forrowes and perplexities, to fall 
fery low in depths of miferies (as the Scripture 
peakes) that hee might difcover a depth of his 
KT<ry,beyond the depth of their mifery, to (hew 
hat there is a depth deeper then that depth, for 
heir mifery is finite, O but the bowels of his 
companions arc infinite both in meafure and 
ime : Hi* mercy tndureth for ever. 

Againc, COD is jealous of their affance and 

[fidwce, knowing that naturally, unleffe wee 
all into fome ftraites and weaning extremities, 

H 4 we 


S*R. HI 

nady tojbew 
mtny to tit 

106 , The Returning Backjltden 

PfaUo.i i, 

s *- IIIL wee (hall place our affiance upon the creature - 
therefore hec deales thus with us. He knowes 
our ficknefle well enough, that we aredefperat 
lyaddiaedtopiefent things, therefore to cure 
this ficknefle in us, he drawes us by extremities 
From the creature to himfelfe, which when it 
fflileswecgoeto him. Helpe Lord, why? f er 
vaine is the helpe t>fm.i, it is time then to helpe 
Helfe Lor d, jar the godly are perijbed frem fg& 
earth. It is time to helpe Lord, for if thou doe 
not none wiSljWhereby they cometo havetheir 
confidence upon the rocke, which is worth all 
Other meo they run from creature to creature* 
from helpe to helpe, as ficke bodies doe to 
this and to that drug, and to this and that potion, 
they feeke to many things to bcgcomfortfrom 
bwtaChnftian hath a fure foundation that hee 
may Say upon, In thee the Fatherleflefindeth 


f o conic now tofpeakeof the words as they 
he in the whole,they carry another inftruclion 
That God ts very gratis and mertifrll to fa 

therlejfe *ddijlrejfed perfons. 

/ S f^fV^ ^; IO - 8- That God will 
judge the fatherlejfe and oppre/ed, that the m m 
of the earth may no more eppre/e. So Pfal i&6 <j 
Itisfaid, The Lord freferveththe ftrangen, hee 
rekeveththe fatherlef and mddorv^c. And for ! 
* generall wee have it, The LordreUevethall ] 
tbatfM, andraifeth up all that he btrvcddorvnt 
God hce opens his care to heare their eric, to 
judge the fathcdefle and the opprefled, the 


Ibc Returning Backflider, 

iikcwe hwcinExodtt*. \^4lfo tboufraltnotop- 
\rtffe afirangtYy for ye know the heart of a ftraa- 
KT, feeing yee were (hangers in the land of 
gyft,*ttoEx9ttM.*$. faith he, Thou [halt not 
afflitt any rviddow or faberlefje chtlde ; ifthott 
afflitt them in any wife, and they cry at all mto mt> 
will furely beare their me. Thefe among 
many, are dire# places to fhew the truth of 
this, that God ismercifull 5 notonlyingenerall, 
but tothofe perfoas fctdowne byzSynechdoche-, 
a figure where one is fet downe for all of jhe 
fame kinde. God is mercifull to all perfons, 
in any kind of mifery or diftreffe whatfoever, 
as the Apoftlcfpcakes, God is he who comfort eth 
the abjecf perfbn : the forlorne, the caftaway 
perfons of the world, and he is a very prefent 
helfe in trouble. So as when there are none to 
helpe, then heawaketh and roufeth up himfelfe 
to lay hold for us, ffis wne artne brings fatvation 
for bit o\vne fake. So when there is mifery and 
nonetohelpc, God will finde caufeand ground 
fromhisownebowellsto (hew mercy, totake 
pitty and companion upon his poore Church 
and Children. -Which (hould teach us, 

ffa&ofMi Tttakci&icetftbis m fl excellent 
Attribute of Cody and to make ufe of it upon all 
occafions, at our moft need, then to prefent to 
ourfoules God thus defcribed and fet out by 
his owne Spirit, to be Bee that comforteth the 
(_>*%#, and ilievveth mercy to the fatherlefle 
andoppreffed: this we fliould make ufe of for 
the Church in general!, and for every one of 





a Cor. 7.^. 
Pfal. 4 6.i. 
i-4i 17. 
Ha. 59 16, 



uke i8,f 


Re v.i 1,1 4. 

The Returning Backflider< 

ourfelves in particular. The Church hath 
bccnc along time like aforlorne widdowas ic 
were 5 God hath promifed that he will have a 
care of the widdow and the fatherlefTe, and fo 
!iee will of his poore Church. We fee in the 
Parable, the widdow with her importunity 
prevailed with an unrighteous Judge : the 
Church now being like a widdow, what is 
wanting but a fpirit of Application and Prayer, 
which fpirit if the Church had to wraftlewith 
Gqdandlay hold upon him as LwWdid, and 
not fuflPer God to reft till he had mercy on his 
poore Church: Certainely it would be better 
with itthctiitis* for God comforteth the wid 
dow, if one, what will hecdoe for the whole 
Spoufe which hath fo long beene a dcfpicablc 
and forlorne widdow. And for the time to 
come. It ought to minifter matter of comfort 
for the Church 5 certainely, God that is mer- 
cifulltothe JV^/<?^?, he will be mercifull to 
the poore Church. We fee in the Rvudtfien, 
though the Woman was perfccuted by the 
Dragon, yet there were given two wings of a 
great Eagle to her that (hec might flie unto the 
wilderneffe, where flic had a place provided of 
God. It alludes to the ftory of the Ifraelitcs 
when they came out of ISLgyft, God provided 
for them in the wilderneiTe, they had <Jtanna 
from Heaven, and water out of the rocke, and 
till they came to Canaan, God provided every 
way for them in a marvellous manner. So God 
will be furc to provide for his in the wildernefle 


The Returning Backflider* 

of this world, he will have a harbour ftill for 
the Church, and a hiding place from the ftor- 
my tempefts of her adveriarics. Therefore Ice 
us not defpaire,but ftirre up a fpirit of Player for 
the Church: that he who fhcwes mercy to the 
FAtherlcjfi, and commands mercy Co be fliewed 
to the widdow , that he would (hew that hirn- 
fclfe, which he requires of us. And why may 
not we hope and truft for it ? The Church in 
this world is as it were a fatherlejft ferfon, 
Pufill, an orphan, a Sheepc in the midft of wolves, 
as Daniell in the lyons den, as a flif tofled in 
the waves, t&aliKe among t homes, itisinvi- 
roncd with enemies, and of it felfc, (like the 
poorc (hccpe) is fhifdcfle. What is the Church 
but a company of wcake perfons ? not fo witty 
for the world as worldly wife men are, nor fo 
ftrong in the arme of flelb, nor fo dcfcnced? but 
a company of pe rfons who have a hidden de- 
pendance upon God, wee know not how, and 
hang as it were by athreed: as the Church in 
this land,and abroad in other places. The true 
Church is maintained we know not how: God 
kecpcsupReligion,the Church and all,becaufe 
hcisracrcifulltothc Fatherlefle, who have no 
fhifting wits as the worldly ^fchitophels have. 
God is wife for them that are not wife for them- 
felves, and powerfull for them, that havclittle 
ftrength of their owne. Therefore, let us not be 
difcouraged though we be wcakc creatures, 
little flock, like a company of fliecpe,yct not- 
withftanding wee have a ftrong Shepheard. 





















fa, 5. i, 7, 

Ifa.54. 1 * 


[fa, 4 1, 1 7, 


Returning Back/Jtder. 

The Church is like a vine, apoore defpicablc 
withered, crooked, weake plant, which windes 
about,and muft be fupported orelfe it finkesto 
the ground, yet it is a frmtfull plant. So the 
Church of God, a number of weake Chrifti- 
ans profefling Religion, they want many helps, 
ycc God fupports them, and hath ordained this 
and that haven for them : as this Magiftrate, and 
that Perfon, God hathone fupporc or other for 
them. While they are fruitfull and true Vines 3 
God will have a care of them, though they be 
netfer fo weake and defpifed in the eye of the 

Againe,this fhould teach us> to make Godour 
i^tll-fuffciency in All eftatts whatfecver, and not 
Cogoeonehaires breadth from a good coafci- 
enceforfearc ofaftcrclaps. I may becaftinco 
prifon, I may loofe my goods. What of all this: 
is not God All-fufficient * and is not he efpeci- 
ally feene in comforting of thofe who ftaad in 
moft need of comfort, who want other helpes t 
and will he be indebted to any man who (lands 
outinagoodquarrell for his caufc ? will he not 
give needfull fupply, if not in this world,! 
(yet in a better of all comforts whatfoever? It is! 
I a good fupply, when the loffe is in outward ; 
things, and the fupply in inward peace, grace! 
and ftrength 5 it is a happy lode that is loft to the 
advantage. There was never any manyetfromi 
the beginning of the world, who loft by clea- ! 
ving to Religion and good caufes, God ever 
made it up one way or other. Therefore this is 


The Returning Backftider. 

a ground of courage, to c.ift our felves upon do 
ing good whcnGod offers the occafion, relying 
upon God as HcJier did 5 // Iperijh Iperifi, flic 
meant,// I peri (h, ifiall not pert fh j fuch have 
better condition in the Jove and favour of Goc 
then they had before, or iliould have had,if they 
had not periflied. It is the way not to perifh, fo 
to pcrifli: it is as cleare and true as the Sun-fliine : 
but we wane faith to bekeve it. 

And then againe, let us make ufe of it in ano 
ther kinde, torefift another temptation, what 
will become of my poere children, if llioe 
thus and thus, ftand thus and thus, and goeon 
in my innocency t What will become of thy 
children . ic was well fpoken by Lactantiw, 
Bccanfe God would have men ft And out and die in 
^ good ca,ufe willingly 5 therefore hce hathpromi- 
fed in a fpeciall manner to be a Father to th<L^> 
Fatkerlefe, and aHu*ba*d to the Widow. Are 
wee the chiefe Fathers of our children ? No, 
wee are but under God to bring thofewhoare 
his children into the world, we are but inftru- 
ments 3 Godis the chiefe Father, beft and laft 
Father, The everUfling Fdkeri who takes up 
on him to be a Father to the Fatherlefle, whom 
he dnrgechallnottohurt, Experience fbcwes, 
how hceblcflTcththc pofterity of the righteous, 
who have flood in defence cf the truth. There 
fore, let us make no pretences either forbafo 
neffe, dejeftion of fpirir, or covetoufncflTe fo 
kcepe us from well-doing, for God will reward 





rf* 5. 


SER. li TL 







i Tim, 4. 8. 














The Returning Bick/ltder. 

O fay fome, I could be content not to be fo I 
fforldly,but it is for my children. 

What faith the Apoftle, Let thofe mho are mar- 
ted be as if they were not married) meaning in re 
gard of this fcraping of wealth together by un- 
awfull meanes of covetoufnefTc, or in regard 
f readincifc to doe workes of mercy, What 
doth God appoint one Ordinance of marriage 

take a man off of all good duties * No,not- 
vvithftanding this we mult doe fitting workes of 
mercy; God will be the Facherof the Father- 
efle. Many ufe opprtflfion, and goe to Hell 
themfelves, to make their children rich. Who 
commands us to make our children in ihew a 
while happy here, to make our foules and bo 
dies mifcjtfblc for ever. There is a moderate 
care (as the Apoftle fpeakes) fb that he who 
cares not for his ownt is worfe then an in f dell $ 
but we muft not make this pretence ro cxciife 
injurious and extortive courfes : But let God 
alone; he will doe all things well, truft him, 
Or, if any thing fhould befall us otherwife 
then well 5 what if it doe ? God is the God of j 
the Fatherlefle, whacfbcver he rakes away he 
fupplies it bctteranother way.For whence fwe 
the creatures that infufion to helper Is it not 
from God <? and when the creature is taken a- 
way, is not God where he was * * 

And let usalfo learne hence; that we anfwer 
Gods dealing in fliswiog mercy to the Father 
lefle and fuchas ftandinneed, as the Apoftle 
exhorts, Put on therefore, a* the Elctt of God 


Ibe Returning Backflider* 

(holy and Beloved) bowells of mercies ^c. as if 
IKC fhould fay, as you would proove your 
fclvestobeEleft, members of Chrift and chil 
drcno* God,fo fhcw yourlikenetfe in this par 
ticular, Tfj<i boweils of mercy And cowpafion. 
This hath ever beene, and yet is at all times a 
charader of Gods children, and fliall be to the 
end of the world. It is a figne fuch a one hath 
found bowels of mercy, thatis ready upon all 
occafionsto powre forth thofe bowels of com 
pafTton upon others: as hard-heartednefTethis 
way fhewes adifpofition which yet hath ftot 
rightly tafted of mercy. As we (ay in another 
cafe, thofe that are appeafed in their confer 
ences, in the fenfeoftheforgivenefleof finnes, 
they are peaceable to others, becaufe they feele 
peace. So here, thofe that feele mercy, will be 
mercifull; thofe that have felt love, will be lo 
ving to others. \^4 good man is mercifulltobts 
baafl, but the mercies of the wicked are cruel I. 
Thofe therefore that are hard-hearted and un- 
mercifull, hardening thernfelves againft ilie 
complaints of the miferabk: there is (for the 
prefent) no comfort for them, that the Spirit of 
God hath wrought any change in their hearts, 
for then it would ftampe the image of God 
upon them, they would be mercifuilto thefa- 
therltfle, wido\v,ard diftrefled perfons. What 
Hull wee thinke then of a generation of men, 
who by griping ufury and the like courfes have 
made many widowes miferabk ? Let fuch 
profciTe what they will> whileft they are this 



Pro. i MO. 


The Returning Backflider. 

hard-hearted, they have not the bowels of 
Chrift. God is fo merciful 1> that you fee (as 
the Jewes call them) hee hath hedges of the 
commandemems, that is, he hath fome remote 
commands which are not of the maine, and all 
to hedge from cruelty: as, Thou /halt not kill 
the Dam ufon the neft. Thou Jhalt not feeth a 
kid in his mothers milke. What tends this too? | 
nothing but to (hew the^meicy and bowels of I 
God, and that hee Would have us to abfbune 
from cruelty .He that would not have us Mttrther^ 
wohld haveuskeepealoofeof, andnotbemer- j 
cildTe to the very dumbe creatures, birds and 
bcafts : therefore,let us labour to cxprefle the 
image of our heavenly Father in this. 
Vfe 5. Againe, we fkould ufe this as a plea againft 
deje&edneflTeat the houre of death, in regard of 
thofewe leave behind us 5 not to be troubled 
what (hall become of them, when wee are to 
yeeldupourfoulesto God? but know that hee 
hath undertaken to be, the Father of the Father- \ 
leffe and of the Widow. Therefore,for ftiame,for j 
Ihame, learne as to live, fo to die by faith : and I 
as to die by faith in other things, foto die in this i 
faith, that God as he will receive thy foule, fo 
he will receive the care of thy porter ity. Canft 
thou with affianceyeeld up thy foule unto God, 
and wilt thou not with the fame confidence j 
yeeld thy pofterity. Thou art an Hypocrite if 
this diftra6i and vexethee, when yet thou pre-1 
tended to die in the faith of Chrift. Canft thou! 
yeeld thy fbulc, and yet art grieved for thy | 
pofterity ? | 

The Returning Backjlider. 

poftcrity f no, leave it to God : he is All-fuffi- 
cicnr, The earth if the Lords , And thefullnejffc 
thereof. Wee need not fcarc to put our port ion 
in his hands, he is rich enough, The etrth And 
all it his. Therefore, when we arc in any cx- 
treamity whatfoevcr, relic on this mercy of fo 
rich andpowcrfull a God,improove it,for it is 
our portion, efpccially in adiftrefled conditi 
on. Were it not for Faith wrought by the 
blcfled Spirit of God, he would loofc the glo 
ry of this Attribute of Mercy. Now Faith js a 
wife power of the foulc, that fees in God what 
fit for it,fingling out in God what is fit for the 
prcfent occafion of diftreffc. Is a man in any 
rxtremity of mifery, let him looke to mercy. 
ts a man opprefled, let him lookc to mercy to 
>e revenged of his enemies : is a man in any 
perplexity, let him lookc to mercy, joy n:d with 
vifcdome, which is able to deliver him. Re. 
igion is nothing elfe but an application of the 
bulc to God : and a fetching out of him fomc- 
what(as he hith difcovcrcd himfelfe in the Co 
venant) fit for all our exigents 5 as there isfome- 
whatin God,andintbePromifes,forall cftatcs 
ofthefoule. Faith therefore iswirtie to lookc 
othat in God which is fit for its turne. Let us 
hcrcforc take heed of Satans policic herein : 
who in our extreamity ufcth this as a weapon to 
hake our Faith. Tufa (as it is in the Pfalrae) 
God hath forfakert And forgotten him. Hath he 
"o? nay 3 becaufe I am in extremity and defcr- 
ed above others, rather God now regards me 

I more 



Pfil.l4.l 4 


n our txtremi 
tyjav* tg retort 

S u6 

The Returning Backflider. ( 

SB.*. IIII. 

more then before, becaufe, hee faurgeth every 


Sonne whom he receiveth* So retort Satans fiery 

darts backeagaine. For indeed that is the time 

wh?re*m Gad exalts .;md fhewes himfclfe moft 

glorious and^triumphant in mercy, where mifery 
is greateft. Wheye (inne -abounds there graces 

Plona.f. 10* 

abounds much more, fb where mifery abounds, i 

mercy iuperabounds much more. Therefore! 

let us be as wife for our foules^ as Satan can be 

malicious againft them, what hee ufeth for a 

weqpon to wound the foule 5 ufe the fame as a j 

weapon againft him, 

To end all, let Faith in Godsmtrcy attjiyer tbi* \ 

h&defcription and letic be adefcription ingraf- j 

ted into us at fucha time. Doth God care for the 

fatherkfle, & meanc perfons who are caft down J 
&aflflided? why then,I will truft that God who! 

doth fo>bein gin this cafe my fclf* If hcwiJl help 


in Extremity, truft him in Extremity : If hc?oj 

will helpe in diftrcfli:, truft him mdiftreffe : if 

he will helpe when Mforfake, trwft him when 

wee are .frrfaken of ^11. What if a ftreame bej 


taken away ? yet none can take away God from 


tkee: what if a beame : betaken away {- thcui 

haft the Sun it fclfc : \vhac if a particular com 


fort be taken long as God, who comfor-\ 

ttth thedbpci^nA is mrctfiilt to the diftrejjed, 

Fathcr.lefje and Widdowes continues wiih-thce, 

thou needs not feare. A man cannor wanr 

comfort and mercy, fo long as the Father of\ 

mercies is in covenant wich him. If he /?^,he 1 

(hath Pardonm? mercy for him 5 if n^o hee 

1 hath 

The Returning Backflider. 

hath Strengthening mercy , if in darkent/e y hce 

hath jQtuckmng mercy - if we be dull, dead, and 
in danger, (here is Relating mercy, and if fubject 
to dangers tvz may fill in y there is for that, />?- 
writing mercy. Therefore there is mtrcy ready 
to compaife Gods childrcnaboutinall condi 
tions, \vhen they sre ir.virened wi h dangers, 
yet God is neerer to guard their fbwles, then the 
danger is to hurt them. 

Therefore let us take thecounftll oftheblef- 
fed Apoftle, Be c arc full for nothing, but inevfry 
thing by Prayer and (upfkcation^vith thankfgiving 
tetyour requetts be knownc to God : and what then, 
will God grant that I pray for? perhaps hec 
will not. But yet, lie Peace ef God which paffitk 
all underflaKdtngy fiall guard yottr hearts and 
wi fides through Cbn ft lefus. As if he fliOuld fay ? 
in nothing be ovcr-carefull, let your care be 
when ye haveufed the meanes,to depend upon 
God forfupportinthe event and iflue of all. If 
God denie you what you pray for, he will grant 
y ou that which is bttrer: he will fet up an ex 
cellent inward peace there, whereby heewill 
ftablifli the foulc in aiTuraace of h is love,pardon 
of finnes and reconciliation : w ? hereby their 
foules fhall be guarded, and their hearts and 
mindes preferved in Chrift: fo they become 
impregnable mall miferies whatfoever, when 
they have the Peace of God which pafeth all an- 
der (landing to guard them within. Therefore, 
let us not betray and loofe our comforts, for 
want of making ufe of them 5 orforfcarc fomc 

I 2 Ihonld 



The Returning 


SHR. Illit fliould callws Hypocrites: and on the other 
" fide, let us not flatter our felves in an evill 
courfe : but make the confcience good, which 
will beare us oat in all miferics, dangers, and 
difficulties whatfocver. Nothing makes loffes, 
crofles,banifhment, imprifonmenr, and death 
fo terrible and out of meafure dreadfull unto us, 
but the inward guilt and fling in the infide, the 
j tumults of confcience. Clcere this well once, 
I make all whole within, let confcience be right 
I anc^ftraight} let it have its juftufe and meafure 
of truth and uprightneffe 5 and goe thy way in 
peace, I warrant thee, thou flult hold up thy 
head, and winde thy felfe out of all danger 
well enough : nothing {hall daunt or appale thy 
courage : for faith Salomon, iheRigkttou* /> bol 
atALyw^ what can, what fliould he fearc, who 
is heirc of all things, whofe all things are, anc 
who is reconciled to God inChrift, having 
all the Angels and Creatures for his 
fervants : for whofe fake, all 
things muft needs work 
together for 

The end tftht fourth Scrm*. 







Hos, 14. 4, 

/ Toft beak their backeflidiflg^ 
freely ,f or mine Anger is turned away from 

H E fupcrabounding mer 
cies and marvellous lo 
ving kindnefles of a grati- 
ous and loving God to 
wretched and mifcrable 
finncrs(as we have heard) 
is the fubftancc and fum 
of thisfhort fvvect Chap 
ter, wherein their ignorance 5s taught,theirbafl> 
fiillndreisincouraged 5 theirdeadntirc is quick- 
ned, their untowardncffe is pardoned, their 
wounds are cured^all their objcdlions and petiti- 



SBR. V, 


The Returning Backfliden 

|SR. V. ons anfwered: foas alargeand open pafla^e is 
made unto them and ail other mi/erable penitent 
fjnners for accefie unto the throne of gr see If 
they want words,t hey are taught what to fay ; if 
difcouraged for 1ms p a ft, theyarc ineouraeed 
that finne may be taken away ; yea a !I in quitv 
may be taken away; Take awy a ll ;LJ 
ty; if their unwonhtncfli hinder them, they are 
taught for this, That God is gra-ious: Receive 
wgrMtufo. their by-paft uathankfullncffc be 
any barreof hindrance unro them ; they arc 
taughttopromife thankfullneffe : Stmll mnn 
der the Calves of our lip,. And that their Repen 
tance may appeare to be found and unfained, 
they are brought in, making profc/Tion of their 
deteftation of their bofomefins of falfeconfi- 
dence and Idolatry : <^1Jlwrfl,all net fcve u* n> 
trill mt ride UPW Horfs : neither will we fa &m 
wore to the worka of our h M <j s , ye are ettr fa J^J 
notonely doc they rejea , heir falfe confidence, 
to ceafefrornevill,butthe y doegood,and pitch 

,^,^ffl,n,. ^.^ fl]ou , d ^ F() / J C 

None muft therefore be difcouraged or run 
away from God/or what they have been? . for 
there may beareturning, God may have a time 
for them, who in his wife difpenfatS, do ^ 
bring his children to diflrdfc, that heir de i 
very may be fo much the more admi ed b 
themfdvesandothers, to his glory 
good. He knowesus better then 
howpronewear, to leane upon 


The Returning Backfider. 

therefore hccis faine to take from us ail 
props and fupports 5 whereupon we are forced 
to relic upon him. If we could doc this of ou 
fclves, ic were an excellent worke and an un 
doubted evidence of the child of God, that 
hath a weaned fotile in the midft of outwarc 
fupports,tocnjoythem,as if he pofleffedthem 
nor, nottobepufc up with prefcnr greatneffe, 
not to fwell with riches, nor be high minded : 
to confider of things to be as they are, weake 
things, (fubordinace to God) which can hejpc 
no further,then as he blcflcth them* But to come 
to the words now read. 

/ will heale thrir back ejlt ding wd love 
freely >&c. 

After that the Church had fhewed her Re 
pentance and truth of returning to God: now 
in thefe words and the other verfes unto the 
end of the Chapter/ faving the laft verfe, which 
is a kind of acclamation ifluing from all the 
reft of the foregoing verfes, Who if wife andhee 
flail underftand thefe things ,&c.) is fee downc 
an anfwer unto that prayer. Repentance and 
reformation which the Church made, all the 
branches of which their former fuit, the Lsrd 
doth punctually anfwer. For they had formerly 
prayed, Take away all iniquity, and receive us 
gratioufly, doe gHdurt* w : unto which he an- 
fwer* here, 

J mil heale their backcfli dingle. 
Which is thus much, I will parden their 
iniq liciesj will accept gratioufly of them J win 
_ _ I 4 love 


I I "" 

The Returning Backfltden 

S7 R . VT~: love them freely, and foofthe reft 3 as will aj 
peare afterwards, and in fumme, God anfwers 
all thofedefires which formerly he had ftirrcd 
up in his people. Whence ere we come to the 
i particulars, obferve in general!, 

Where God doth give a /pint of prayer he will 


It needs noproofe, the point is fo cleere and 
experimentall, all the Saints can fay this much 
from their experience of Godsgratiousdealin 
with them: and the Scriptures are full of fuc 
inffances and promifes, which we all know. 
To name a place or two for all the reft. Call 
upon met in the day of trwblejl will deliver thee> 
houfbalt glorifemee. So jnanotherplace, 
it jlall come to pajfc that before they call I 
w^ uflfwer^ and whilft they fpeake I will he are. 
Ithathbecne made good to P-erfons>i& Daniel, 
Ettas, Salomon^ laakoh and others, and it hath 
beene^ and is made good unto all ages of the 
Church from time to time, and (hall be unto 
le end of the world. And therefore the Pfo- 
>hct fetsdowne this as aconclufion undeniable 
from rhe premifes, O tLou that hear eft frayer.un- 
o thce [ball all fle/h come, whence hedrawesthis 
xcellentconfolation. Iniquities prevails againjl 
;, asforwr tr an fgre/tonsjhoiifoalt purge them 

The Reafon isftrong, becsufethey are the 
motions of hisowneSpiritwhichhe ftirsupin 
us. For, hee di&ates this Prayer unro them: 
Take with you, words^c. And fay unto the Lord, 


Ibe Returning Backflider* 

Take arvay /til iniquity, and receive us gratioujly 
So that, where God ftirs up holy defires by his 
Spirit, hce will anfwer exadly, there ihall net 
a figh be loft. Likewife (faith the Apoftle) 
the Spirit alfo hdpes our infirmities : for we kno 
xot what jve flout el pray for as wee ought, but the 
Sfirit it felfe wakes inter cefion for us, with groa- 
nings which cannot le uttered. Therefore there 
cannnot a groanc be loft? nor a darting of a figh, 
whatfoevcr is fpirituall mutt be effcdluall, 
though it cannot be vented in words. For Gpd 
hathanearc not onely neere a mans tongue t 
know what he faith, but alfo in a mans heart, 
to know what hedcfires 3 or would have. As 
the obferving carefull tender mother many 
times knowes what the child would have 
though it cannot fpeake : fo God hce knowes 
the dtfires,fighs 5 andgroanes of the heart when 
\ve cannot fprake. For, fome imcs there may 
be fuch a confiMfionupon the foule 5 by reafonof 
divers difturbances, i hat it cannot exprcffe nor 
vert it fclfe in words, therefore the Spirit 
vents it felfe then in fighs and groanes which arc 
heard and accepted : becaufe they are the de- 
fires of hisowne Spirit. This rmxh the Pro 

phet Dd-WcxctUently ftewcth. Lordthouhaft 
heard the defire cf the humble, thou wilt prepare 
their heart^ thou wilt caufe thine eare to heart. God 
he firft prepares the heart to pray, then his c.ire 
to heart their prayers and dcfircs. If this will 
not incourage us to be much in fuit to God, ancj 
put up our petitions to him,to labour for a fpirit 



Rom. 8. in, 

Wat God hi 
an eare in mat 
hart* 4 i 7 . 

ft rang mo 
ve to draw us 
fore God in 



. V. 

The Returning Batkflider. 

of prayer; I know not what will prevaile : 
when we know that no petition (hall be turned 
3ack againe unanfwered. When wee are to 
deale with Princes upon earth, they oftentimes 
regard neither the perfons nor their petitions, 
:>ut turne their backes upon both, O ! but a 
Chriftian hath the eare of God and Heaven 
open unto him : fuch credit in Heaven, that his 
defires and groanes are refpedied and heard. 
And undoubtedly a man may know that he fli ;11 
be heard, when he hath afpinc of prayer, in 
kind or other, though not in the particulars, 
orkindesweaskcj hearehewill for oar good. 
God will not loofe the incenfe of hisbwnc 
Spirit, of a fpirit of prayer which he flirs up, 
it is fo precious : Therefore let us labourxo 
have a fpirit of prayer, which God regards fo 
much: Seeing for a certaine> wherefoever he 
gives a fpirit of prayer heemeanes to give that 
we pray fo^but according to his heavenly wife- 
dome, as here his anfwer is, 

/ mil healt their Bwkejliding, I mil love them 

^/ " * 

God anfwers them exactly unto all they praid 
for, beginning firft with the ground of all our 
comfort, forgivemjfi of fins, According to their 
petition, Take away all iniquity : he anfwers, / 
mil hetle their backeflidwg, or their rebellion. 
Backejlidwg is an aggravation of fin : everjr finne 
is not a rebellion, Apoftafie, or backflidingj, for 
their bealfo fins of infirmities, we ufeally ranck 
fins thus, in 

i. Sinnes 

7 be Returning Backflider* 

1 . Sinws of Ignorance. 

2 . Sinnes of Infrmitj. 

3. Sinnes Against knowledge^ with ahigher 
band. And 

4. The Stnnes againft the Holy Ghoft. 
Mow this is more then to cure finnes of Ig- 

ner<wce,zn&Qf Infirmity, when he faith, I mil 
beale their btckeftding. 

But why doth he anfwer the higher pitch of 
an aggravation, when their petition was in a 
loweYftraineonely, (Take away all iniqmty.) 

To (hew, that he would anfwer them fulfy, 
that is, that he would heale all finnes whatfo- 
ever : notoncly of Ignorance, and of Infirmity 5 
butalfo finnes willingly committed, their re 
hellions and backeflidings. For indeed they 
were backefliding 5 from the time of leroboAm y 
i hat made the rent, the ten tribes grew worfe 
and worfc continually, fo that they had beene 
utterly extinguifhed, burthat God was won 
drous gracious to fend them Prophets, to pre- 
fervemany that they ihould notbow the knee 
to Butty being mercifull to them, to beare 
Withthcirbackefliding fo long: for befidestheir 
calves,they had falfe ^ods, they did not onely 
worfliip the true God in a falfe manner by the 
calves, but they had Baals yAfo. So that we fee 
God when hee vvill comfort, will comfort to 
purpofe, and fake away all objections that the 
foule can make ; a guilty foule being full of 
objedions , O my finnes are many, great, re 
bellions, and Apoftacies : Bur, be they what 
_^_ _____ . - they 


SEK. V. 



The Returning 

they will, Gods mercy in Chriil is greater and 
more. / will heale their backefiding, or their re 
bellion, God is above confcience, let Satan 
terrific the confcience as he will, and let confci 
ence fpeake the worft it can againft itfelfe, yet 
God is greater. Therefore let the finne be what 
it will, Godwill pardon all manner of finnes 5 
as they pray to pardon all, fohc will takeaway 
all iniquity, heale thetr backeflidig. But to come 
neerer the words. 

tThe healing meant here> is efpecially in the 
pardon of their finnes, anfwerable to their de- 
fires in juftification. And there is a healing alfo 
in fan&ification by the Spirit; when God takes 
away the venome from the wound, then God 
cures in fan<aification ; both are meant ; but 
efpecially the firft.Ina wound we know there is, 
i.The malignity And venome of it, and then, 
2 .The wound it ftlfe fifejitred and rankled. 
Now pardoning gracein juftification, takes 
away the anguifh and malice of the wound, (o 
thatitceafeth to befo malignant snd deadly as 
tokill,orinfe<a. And then faniiification pur. 
gethand cleanfeth the wound,and heales it up. 
Now God through Chrift doth both The 
blood of Chrift doth heale the guilt of finne, 
which is the anger and malignity of it. And 
by the Spirit of Chrift he heales the wound it 
felfe, and purgeth out the ficke and peccant 
humor by little and little through fandification: 
God is a perfeft healer, / ?/// hale their bach- 
^ Jliding. 

The Returning Batk/Itder+ 

[ jUftg. See here the ftate of the Church and 
Children of God, they arc prone to backefli 
ding and turning away : we arc naturally prone 
to decline further and further from God. So 
the Church of God planted in a family in the 
beginning of the wovld,how foonc was it prone 
to backefliding, this is one weakcnefle fincc the 
! fall, it is incident to our nature to be unfetled 
I and unfteady in our holy rcfolutions.And whilft 
! we live in the midft of temptations, the world, 
together with the fickleneffc of our ownc nature, 
evill examples, and Satans perpetuall malite 
againft God 2nd the poore Church, arc ill 
Pilots to lead us out of the way. This isfpokcn 
to make us carefull how to faunae Back (tiding, 
for we fee how many opinions are foiftcd in 
amongft us, and have got fome head, that durft 
not before once be named amongft us. Popery 
fprcads it felfe amaine; even Churches are 
, prone to back fliding, Therefore S.Ptules ad 
vice is, Be not high minded, hutfe*re,for if God 
fptred ntt the nttnrall brwches, take heedleaft let 
dfifparcntttbec. What is become Q$Romt, fo 
the fame will become of us, if wee ftop not our 

Now in that Gods promife is, I will hetlt 
their backjltdixgs, obfcrve in the firft place. is 4 wQ*nd y andt difafe. 
Now as in fickncfle there is, i . G riefe troub 
ling and vexing the panic who feelesit: and 
2. Deformity of the place affe#ed, which 
comes by wounds and weakcncfles. So in all 



T hat tie (I ate 
of the Church 
and Godschtl 

Rom.j 1,20, 


Tbir finne is & 

u8 I The Returning Rtckflider. 

SBR. V, [fi nne ( w hcn we are fenfible of it) there is firft 
griefc, vexation, and torment of conscience: 
and then againc, deformity for it takes away 
the beauty and vigour of the foule, anddejedh 
the countenance, icdebafeth a man, and takes 
Gen 49.4, I awa V his excellence, as Jacob faith bf^m 
Unstable a* water, thou flmlt not excell, becauf<^> 
thou wtnteft up to thy fathers bed, Saith God to 
Gen. 4 .6. I Cain y why Art t hou wrath, and why is thy count e- 
\nance fallen? and the Prophet &*viJ he con- 
pfal 4j feflcth: WbenlKeptfilence, my bones waxed old 
tb\-oughmyrOAringallthedaylottg. So againe> 
There is no foundnefie in my flefh, btcwfe ofth;nc^> 
anger .neither is there any reft in my bw*s, becattfe 
ofmyfinns. Solthat finne is a wound and a di- 
feafe, whether wee coniider the mifcrics it 
brings on foule and body or both. Therefore 
howfoevsr a finfull perfon thinke hicnfelfe a 
goodly perfon, and wearehis fins as ornaments 
about him. Pride, Luft and the likej yethee 
is a deformed loathfome perfon in the eyes and [ 
prefenceof God; and when confcience is a-f 
wakened, finne will be loathfome, irkfome, and \ 
odious unto himfelfe,fill him full of griefe and 
fhame,fo that he cannot endure the fight of his 
owne foule. 

Thar *# fines \ Now all finnes whatfoevcr are difeafes : 
arc differ. \Tfa g r ft finne of all finnes, which wee call! 
hereditary Origlnall fiane, what is ic but an 
hereditarie difeaie { a leprofie v/hich we drew 
from our firft Parents, fpread over all the foule, 
having the feeds andfpawne of all finne in it. 


The Returning Backflider* 

The Church of Rome makes it leffe then other 
finnes, as indeed Popery is ignorant both of the 
height of grace, and of the depth of corruption^ 
for, if they knew the one, they would be more 
capable ofthe other. Why doe they not con 
ceive aright of gr^ce, and ofthe height of it ! 
bccaufe they know not the depth of Originall 
finne. And indeed the true knowledge ofthi 
difeafe is proper cnely to the child of God in 
the true Church: none but hee knowes what 
Originall finne is, others can difpute and talke 
ofir, but nonefeeles it but the child of God. 
Now all other particular auall finnes, be di 
feafes flowing from hence : fo that all difeafes 
in this kinJe, arife cither i.from our felvts> as 
wee have afiminarie of them in our owne beans: 
orelfe, ^.porn> the infection and contagion of 
others: or 3. from Satan, who hath ibcicty 
with our fpirics (as men have with theoutward 
man) commingin bjrhis fuggeftions and our 
interwiningofthem: To that in that rcfpe<5t, fin 
is like unto a woundwd. %dijeafe> in regard of the 

And, in regard of the effects, finne is like a 
d-f.afe. Difeafes if they be neglefled, breed 
death it ielfe, and become incurable; fo it is 
with the difeafes and finnes of the foule, neg- 
1e<ftthern, and the beftend of them will be 
dcfpairc in this world, whereupon wee may 
ha^ e advanrngeto flieunro the mercy of God 
in Chiift. This is the end of finne, either to 
endinagocdc!cfpaire, or in afrui.leffe barren 



SER. V. 


Sinneli^e a 
difeafe in rt- 
garJoj tbe 


Sinne is lit^e a 
difeafe in re- 
gird of the 


Rom, 6 13. 


The Returning 

Jefpaircat the houre of death leading to Hell, 
when they have no grace to repent. TktwAgts 
if font if death>&c. Sinneit felfeis a wound, 
and that which riferh from finne, is a wound 
:oo, doubting and defpaire : for this difeafe 
and wound of finne, breeds that other difeafe, 

defpaire of mercy, which is the beginning 
of Hell, the fecond death. Thefe things 
might be further ialarged, but for the prefcne 
onely in generall, know,That finne is <* <///?*/? 

dawotind of the fettle, fo much worfe then 
the difeafcs of the body, by how much the 
fouleis more pretiousthcn it, and the death of 
the foule more terrible then the death of the 
body. Si fine if adifeafeand a wound: for,what 
is Pride but a fwelling t what is Anger, but an 
intemperate hcate of the foule like an Ague as it 
were ? what is Revenge, but a wild-fire in 
the fouled what is Luft, but a fpreading Can 
ker in the foule, tending to a confumption? 
whatisCovctoufneffe, butasafword, aperpe- 
tuall woundcr of tiie foulc, piercing it through I 
with many forrowes ? what is Security, but as 
it were the Lethargic and Apoplcxie of the 
foule? and fo wee might goe on in other re- 

Bu? it may be demanded, how fliall we know I 
that weareficke of this fickneffeard difeafeyou 

How doe wee know that weareficke in bo 
dy ? If the body be cxcreame cold, we know j 
there is a diftcmpcr, or if it beextreamehot: foj 


The Returning Backflider. 

ihhc ibulc be fo cxrrcainc cold, that no heaven 
ly Motives or fvveet Promifes can worke upo 
ir,ftirreitup, then ccrtainely there is adifca 
upon the foule. 

If the foulcbe inflamed with Revenge anc 
Anger, that foulc is certainely difeafed : th 
temper ofthe foule is according to thepaflion 
:hereof, a man may know by his Pafions, whe 
he hath a lick foule. 

If a man cannot relifh good dier, then we 
count him afickc man, fo when amaneanrjp 
relifh holy difcourfe, nor the Ordinances o 
God. You have fome men, that can relifh no 
thing but profits and pleafures, and fuch vani 
ties,but no divine thing, fuch have ficke foule 

So againe, a man may know there is a dead 
y fickncfleand forenefle upon the foule>i when 
t is fenfeleife of its wounds, and 2 is fcnfelefle 
of that which paflfeth from it : as men (we fay) 
arc ready to die, when excrementall things 
>a(Te from them without any fenfe. So a man 
nay -know that he is defperately foule-ficke, 
whcnoathcs, lies, and deccitfull fpeeches pafle 
rom him, and yet he is fcnfckfle of them,they 
hinknotofthem, they meane noharme-.doth 
, hat argue a found ftate of body, when a man is 
! fo defperately ill, that he feelcs not his bodily 
hurts, and is this a good ftate of foule, when 
thefc filthy things come out from it infcnfibly ! 
itisanargumeut of extresms deadncflTe of fpi- 
irreverence, and of adcfperat iinne-fick 
K foule, 


The Returning Backflidtn 

foule, whenihere is no dread or awe of the Ma- 
jeftyof Godj letfuch looke about them : it 
is an aggravation of thedangerofthc foule, this 
kind of temper. We ufually fay, when thefto. 
roackc is fo weake that it can hold no nouriflv 
ment without cafting ic up againc as faft as it 
receives it 5 certainely fuch ancnejs Cckandin 
a dangerous ftate of body. So when a man 
hcares and heares, and reads and reacfs, and di- 
gefts nothing into nouriftiment, but all is left 
where he heard it 5 it is afigne that they have 
fi<?ke foules, when their retentive power is fo 
weake. And there is certainely fome fickncfle, 
fonte dangerous obftrudion in that foulc, that 
cannot digeft the wholefome Word of God 
to make ufe of it fome noyfome luft then cer 
tainely obftruds the foule which muft be pur 
ged out. 

It is apittifullthingto fee thedefperate con 
dition of many nov/, who though they live un 
der the tyrannic of finne, yet flatter their owne I 
difcafe, and account them their greateft ene- 
mies, who any way oppofe their ficke humour. 
What doe they nioft cordially hare ? the 
found preaching of the Word 5, the very fight 
of fuch an one^whofe calling hathbeenetoput 
us in minde of our finncs, cvill courfcs, and 
vanities of the world 3 is loarhfome and offen- 1 
five to carnall men, in whom corruption is 
growneup to fuch a tyranny, that it fwaycs the 
whole f@ule to devife how to fatisiie it. Man is 
fo difeafcd, thatthofe lufts in him (which he 


The Returning Backflider. 


fhould labour to fubduc and mortifie by the R * 
power of the Spirit) docfoover-fwayhim,tha 
all his life is nothing elfe, \>\\t a difeajc and bad 
fliJirtg mto fin. And as if we were not corrup 
enough our felves, how many are there wh 
feed their corruptions^ when they frequent I 
places and company, whom they cannot b 
without,and are as fifh in the water, feeding the 
old man in them, So that fuch are not only fick 
>ut defend, maintains, and feed their fickneifc 
heir whole life being fpent this way: wh^ 
hey laugh at, and make Pride their cbaint and w~ 
fitment >*$, the Prophet fpcakcs. Thisisfpoken 
that we may take up a lamentation for the vilc- 
nefTc of mans nature, and to teach us how to 
judge aright of men, when they devife how to 
have their liberyflrengthcned to goeto Hjll(as 
it were) with an high hand: having their will fo 
fortified that no man is able to deale with them, 
thwart them,or teach them any thing. If it were 
offered to moft men to have what eftafe they 
would in this world : what are their withes and 
defires ? O, that I might live as I lift, that I 
might have what would content my pleafures, 
without controule, that I might have no croffcs, 
but goe fmeothly on : yet this which is the de- 
fire of tr oft men, is the moft curfed eftate of all, 
and moft to be lamented. Thus it appearcth, 
Sinne is a wotwdwdadfetfe : what Ufe may we 
make of it ? 

and confider, That no mnn who lives in finncs I 



SB*. V. 

Vfe 2* 

The "Returning BackJIider. 

unrepented ofanduncured is to be envisd, be 
they never fo great. Who will envie. a man 
that hath a rotten body covered over with glo 
rious attire? when every man knowes that he 
car ries a rotten difeafe about him, ekhcrfome! 
difeafe in the vitall parts,or from the rottennefle 
of fin, which puts a kind of fliarne and fcornc. J 
Canwepittie a man thus in glorious attire ha- j 
ving a filthy body under it, thus covering 
their njakedaefTe, in whofe cafe we would not 
for any thing be: and are they not much more 
tobe pittied who have ulcerous foules, galled 
and pierced through with many finnes? when 
we fee men that are blafphemers,fwearcrs,men 
guilty 1 of much blood and filthineffo and of 
many finnes hanging upon them, to envie fuch 
a mans greatnelTe^s extrcame folly. O, he car 
ries his deaths wound about him (as we fay) he 
is firicken already in his fide with a deadly dart 3 
without the healing mercy of God, there is but 
a ftep betwixt him and eternall death 5 where 
fore no man is to be envied for his finfull great- 

Againe, if thisbefo^that finne is a difeafe and 
wound of the foule, let us therefore labour to 
cure It prefently. It is defperate folly in men to 
neglcft their bodies, when they know that they 
are prone to fuch and fuch difeafes which are 
growing upon them every day : how carefull 
are men (perceiving this much) to prevent di- 
feafesby timely phyfick? all finnes arcdifea- 
fes, and growing like difeafes run from ill to 


The Returning Fackjlider. 

* lim3.ij. 

worfe and worfe. Wicked men (faith the Apo-^ ER> V- 
ftle) grow worfe and worfe. Therefore,if fin be 
adifeafe, prevent it prefently s for as wee fee, 
Hercticks and other the like are hardly found, 
butatthefirft: and then are hardly cured :fo,if 
wenegle&thedifeafcs ofourfoules, they will 
breed a confumption of grace, or fuch an ill 
temperoffoule> asthatit cannotwell defireto 
repent. Nay when a man lives in wicked re 
bellious courfes long, God will give him up to 
fuch terrors of confcicnce, that it will not be ga- 
cified, but upbraid it fclfe, I have been afinne- 
full wretched creature, mercy hath beene offe 
red me againe and againe, but now it is too late, 
having out- flood all the meanes of grace,and re- 
je&edthem. When they have confidered that 
their lives have for a longtime beene a meere 
rebellion, and tfiat they have pus off the checks 
of confcience, the admonitions of the Word 
and Spirit, with the motions thereof: it is long 
in this cafe before a man can have peace; for 
anfwerable to the continuance in fin, is the haid- 
nefleofthecure,ifitbecuredarall. : 

Therefore there is no dallying withfinhe,! 
fliall repent at length, but not now; yet awhile 
I will continue thefe and thefe comfes, I fhall 
doe well enough;^, as if a man \vho were 
ficke or defperntely wounded, fhould fay,I fhall] 
doe well, andyetnegleftto fend for the Phy- 
fitian. None arefo defperately foolifbin cafe 
ofthebody, why fhould wee for our foulest 
is not that in much more hazard then the body, 

K ? if 


lay repentance, 

The Returning Backjltcttr: 


us fo ftnne;utl 

.. V. j if wee had ipirituall eyes to confider of it? The 
Tbatvwt of\ truth is,people are not convinced of this; hat fin 
MMMjM^ I ; s f UG hafickneffe, which isrhereafon they are 
fo careleffc of ir. But when the confck nee is 2- 
waked, as it will be one day, heere or in Hell ; 
then they will be of another minde. Nay,in this 
world, when friends, nor riches, nor any thing 
can comfort : then they cry out; O that they had 
not been fofooliflyhcy wcu d give aworld(if 
they had it) for peace of confcience s this will be 
the beft of if , for men th at go on in 6*\, Thei foi c, 
before hardndTcof heart grow upon us (that di- 
feafe following the difeafe of finnc) let us take 
heed, and lab ;ur to have o".r fcules healed in 
time. Thus we have found, That finne is afick- 
itefft: for fo much is implied, when he faith: 1 
witthtalc their backcjltdwg. Whence the dired 
Obfervation is, 

That God is the great Pbyfitian of the Scule. 
"For he faith here, I will he ale their 
fo t\\2thealing implies,the taking away of 

i. The Guilt office ^ which is the venome of 
it : by luflifcrtioa, 

7. The Rage of fi#, which is the ff reading of 

3. The Remooving the judgement upon cur 

For (inlefle God be the more merciful I) 
thefethingsfo!low 3 where there is finne, and 
breaking of his law, there is a flare binding over 
to damnation and guilt; whentliereis a iinne- 
full difpofition raging,and bringing us from one 


The Returning Backflider. 

degieeoifinnetoanorher, then there is Gods 
judgement and wrath revealed from Heaven a- 
gsinft this. Now when Godheales, heheales 
perfe&ly, but in fo-me regards flowly, as wee 
(hall fee hereafter. In regard of Forgivaujfi of 
finncs, he healeth perfectly but by little and 
little, in regard of the other of Sarxftificanon>he 
flops up the iffues of onr corruption by liccle 
and little. For other things, and judgements in 
this world, he remooves the malice, and takes 
a\vay theftingofthem, which isthevenonyj 
as he faith after wards, For mine ginger is tur 
ned away, which being remooved and turned 
from things, then they arc no more judgements. 
What cared Paul for imprifonment, whenhce 
knew Gods wrath accompanied not the (locks ? 
let wrath be taken from the fuflfcring; that the 
foulc be found, then it is no matter what condi 
tion a man be in, he carries Heaven and Par:, 
dice with him. Therefore, fo farre God re 
mooves thofe difeafes and ficknefles of condi 
tion, as they carrie venomcinthem: fo chan 
ging the. condition, that whatfocver we fuflfcr, it 
hath the nature of an exercife, medicine, or cor- 
re&iononely. But that which invcnomes all, 
and makes the Icaft croiTe a curfe, and finkcs 
deepe, is the anger of God joyned with things. 
The Icaft erode when it carrieth with it the an 
ger and vengeance of God, and reports that to 
| the foule; I have offended God, and it isjuft 
i with him thus to infl id wrath upon me: this is 
terrible, and it puts a fting to the crofle. Now 

K 4 God ! 

SER. V. 


Reafon 2. 

The Returning Back/litter. 

God here proraifeth to remoovethat, / mli\ 
heale their backeflidwg ; This principally in the 
firft place is meant of healing in regard of lu- 
ftif cation ; taking away that guilt from the foule, ! 
which inthralls it,and binds it over to cond em- 1 
nation and judgement. God will ftt the foule j 
at afpirituall liberty and fo heale it. Thus you 
fee the point cleere, Tkdt God is the great Phyfi- \ 
ti an ef the foule. 

For, God who made the foule, knowes all 
th^, difeafes, windings and turnings of ir ; he is 
an excellent Anatomift, all things are naked and 
of en before his eyes, he knowes the inward part 
of the foule, the feate of all finne. We know not 
our felves as he knowes us^therc is a miftery of j 
felfc-deceit in the heart which he knowes, who ! 
canfearchall the hidden corners of the hearty! 
which is the Reafon why he is fb good a Phyfi- 
tianand fo excellent, becaufehe is adifcerner 
and fearcher of the heart, who can fee al! 3 and 
fo can cure all, being above the fling of confci. 
ence,he hath a remedy above the malady, he is 
greater then our conference, therefore hec can 
cure our confcience. 

And in the next place, as hee can beak our 

foules^ fo hec is willing to doe it : which his | 

j wiliingneffe we may know by the medicine hee 

I doth it by j his owne dcare Sonne; hee hsth 

| provided a pla^fter of his Sonnes blood to heale 

I us. And befides his owne inward wiiliagnefTe^ 

j being now a grat ions Father to us inChrift)?- 

fws heefcndshis Amba{I:\dors to healc and 


The Returning Backjlider. 

cure us in His Name, to apply his medicines, 
and to bcfeqch and intreate us to be reconciled, 
GodbytherVmtreats us to intreat him for par 
don and mcrty, and is fo willing to be intrea- 
ted, that ere we fhallfetout; hce teacheth us 
words (as we heard) Take you words^&c. 
as he is an able, fo heeis a willing Phyfitian. 
Chnft the great Phyfitian together with his Fa 
ther expefts not that we fliould fiift come to 
him, but he comes firft, and fends to us. The 
Phyfitian came tothefick,though for the mpft 
part the ficke(if sble) goetothe Phyfitian. But 
here is the contrary, hee camo from Heaven, 
tooke our nature upon him, and therein died,by 
which his blood-fhcdding he fatisfiedthe wrath 
of God, juftly offended with us. So he heales 
our foules that way, having undergone the an 
ger and wrath of God, that his blood might 
quench and appeafe that anger, by aplaifter 
thereof made and applied toourfoules. 

Doe we doubt of his willingncfle, when hee 
comes to us and calls us,Cto<? unto me ally ee that 
labour and are faavie laden, <wd 1 will give you 
reft. It is his Office which hee hash afliiincd to 
healeourfoule. The many cures he hath done, 
fheweth the ability and willingneflTe of the Phy 
fitian, cures whereof we are uncapubleof, by 
reafon of our meane condition. A King as his 
place is greater, fo fometimeshis finnes arc grea- 
terthen others are : yet hee cured&tmiffctb 
that finnefull King, togetherwith ijfarjMig- 
dalen, Pattl,Ptur, and the reft, who were a com- 




I o.4. 





Ezek 1 6.6. 

The Returning B*ckjlider< 

pany healed by this Phyfitian. Therefore all 
this is for the glory of our Phyfitian, we may 
fee what he can doe, by what he hath done : as 
amongftusj Phyficians are fought after, accor 
ding to their ski! land cures done. Confider in 
the Sacrament how ready Godhtocure and to 
healeus, how g rations he is in the Sacrament 
of Bnptifme, wherein he ingagcth us to be- 
leeve, admitting us into the Covenant, and pre 
venting us with mercy, before we knew what 
a Covenantor Scale was. Andfoto perfwadc 
us of hiswillingnefle to forgive our finnes and 
heale our Rebellions^ hee hath ordained the 
Sacrament not for his fake, but to ftrengthen 
our weake faith, and help us. The point iseafie 
for matter of our undemanding, but hard in 
regard of ufe and Application : efpeciaily when 
itfliouldbemadeufeof, in time of temptation, 
then let us lay it up as a comfortable point, this j 
gratious Promife of God,/ wiUhealc their backfli- \ 
ding* I mil love them freely ^c. Lay this upa~ 
gainft thehoure of temptation, make ufe of it 
then, alleadging unto God his owne Promife: 
and nature : as D avid did, L wd -remember the Pro. \ 
mife wherein thou haftcAufedme to tntft. Thou haft I 
promifed ^Ardomng^\^healmg^\\ ourrranfgref- ] 
fions,^- Remember thy free Promifes made in | 
Jefus Chrift. God cannot denie himfelfe nor his i 
Word, but loves to have his bonds fued : re- j 
member this. 

And when confdcnceis furprized with any I 
finne (though it be ntver fo great) lookenot| 

o-v 1 

The Returning Backflider* 

on the dif cafe fo much, as who is the Phyfitian, 
and what his plaifter and medicine is? >God 
is the Phyfitian, and the blood of Chriftisthe 
Plaifler. Whar if cur finnes be ww^w-^there 
is an Ocean and a fea of mercy to fwcll above 
and cover theft mount aines of our finnes. Our 
finnes in this cafe are like fire, which falling ie- 
tothe (ia, is by and by quenched. What if 
our finnes be of never fo long (landing (as thefc 
their backcflidings heere, had continued hun 
dreds of yecres, wherein they were a backe- 
fliding generation) yer,it is no matter of what 
ftanding or continuance the difeafeis, folong 
as God hath promifed to be the Phyfitian, 
and the blood of Chrift is the Plaifter that heal- 
ethus. TheQjeftionisnot, what, how many, 
how great, and of what continuance our finnes 
are : but how wee (land affe&ed towards them, 
hate them, and refolve againft them. That 
fiine cannot hurt us which wee fight againft, 
moi tne for, complaine of, refolve to leave, 
and i rutly hate. Let us never (land then in corn- 
parifons with our finnes, which beare no pro 
portion to the infinite skill and power of our 
great Phyfitian : and to the infinite woikc of 
Chrifts all-fufficicnt fatisfadion. What canft 
thou objcd O man? // if Ckrift that juftifeth 
the ungQ%ly> who art thou that condemneth ? It if 
be that d{id t yca rather who it rifenagMne,who is al- 
fo At the right h&ndofGod andalfo makethintercef- 
\ (Ion for us. Thou canft not fatisfie for the lead 
I finne: God hath laid upon him the iniquities 


SBR. V." 


SBR. V. 




The Returning Backflider. 

f us all. 7#* chafti foments of our peace was upon \ 
im y andmthbttfiripes we arc healed. 

Let us therefore be wife for afterwards, 
icare, reade,lay up, and medicarefor thetime 
o come, for times will come (if wee belong 
o God) that nothing will content or pacific 
hefoule,butthe infinite worth and merit of an j 
niinite and free mercy apprehended in the face \ 
of JefusChrift. When our fins are fee in order | 
Before us,thefinnes of our you h, middle, and 
old age, our finnes againft confcience, againft 
hLawand Gofpeli,agaiaft examples, vowes, j 
Promifes, Refolution, and admonitions of j 
the Spirit and fervants of God. When there j 
(hall be fuch a terrible accufer, and God (hall 
perhaps let the wounds of confcience fly open 
and joyne againft us ; when wrath ftull ap- 
peare, be in fome fort felt, and God prefen- 
:edtothefoule, as aconfumingfire, no comfort 
in heaven or earth appearing, hell beneath 
feeming ready ta revenge againft us the quar- 
rell of Gods Covenant, o then for faith to 
looke through all thefe clouds, to fee mercy 
in wrath, love in correction, life in death the 
fwcctneffe of the promifes* the vertue and 
merit of Chrifts fufferings, death, refurrre&ion, 
and interceflion at the right hand 5 The fting 
of death removed, finne pardoned and done 
away, and glory at hand 5 In fumme this pro- 
mife made good, which leads unto all this 
happinefle (as wee (hill by andbyheare)/ 
will bt*lt their backejlidt&gjwill love them free- 


The Returning Backjlider, 

ly, for mw anger is turned away. O this is a 
marvellous matter then to be perfwadcd of. 
Therforc let us mal^e a right ufe of thefe words 
in due feafon.For they are> like affles of gold with 
f i fares of (ifoer, like balmetoagreene wound, 
like delivery in afhipwraeke : but indeed all 
comparifons come farre fhort of this illuftra- 
tion, as the terrour of incenfed wrath in the 
feaiefull apprehenfion of eternall unfpeakeable 
mifcry is beyond any other feare, apprehenfion, 
or joy. 

Butleaft this grace be abufed by others (Tor 
wee muft not with-hold the childrens bread, 
for feare others partake with them unto whom 
it belongs not) let them know this much, that 
thofewho turne this grace into wantonncffe, 
and willbccvill, bccaufe God is thus gracious 5 
that there is no word of comfort in the whole 
Scripture for them, who ftand refolved togoc 
on in their finnes, prefuming of mercy. See 
what God faith in this cafe. Leafl there flmtd 
be among you aroote that heareth g^ttand \vonne. 
wood : and it come topnffi when hse heareth tht^> 
rvordscfthit curfe that hee blefft hiwfdfe in bt$ 
heart, faying,! fiall have fcacc, though 1 walker 
in the imaginatiev ofmtne heart, to adde drunken- 
neffeto thirfl^rhe lord will not fp are him, but then I 
the anger of the Lord and hi* jealoufie, (ha/1 fmoake 
agxnft that man, and all the curfes tbtt are writ* 
ten tn this booke flail lie upon him, and the Lord 
I flail blot ont hi* na mi from under Heavtn. God 
.will wound the hairy fcalpc of iich an one?, 





DC ut. 19* 1 8, 


SSR. V. 


The Returning Backflider. 

2, Chro.i6.ii 

who goes on in his wickedneflfe, and meanes 
to be fo. And in the New Teftament^ thofe 
who thus make a progrefie in fin, what do they? 
They are faid to trcafure up unto tkemfdves 
wrath again ft the day of wrath, and revelation of 
the righteous judgement of God. Therefore Gods 
Word fpeakcs no comfort to thofe who pur* 
3ofe to live in any fin. Al the comfort that can be 
[poken to fuch is, That yet they are not in hell, 
that yet they have time to returne to this great 
Phyfitian ofthefoule. But take fuch an one in 
hiS prefcnt condition, he can have no comfort 
in this eftate, wherein there is but a ftep be- 
twecne him and hell 3 So as when the rotten 
thred of this uncertaine life (hall failc, or is cut 
afunder,downe they fall. We have no comfort 
heere for them, till they returne; This pictious 
balme belongs to the wounded confcience t 
Briefly for ufethen. 

Seeing that our God is a healing God, as wee 
can admire the wifdome, skill, and exceHencie 
of our Phyfitian, lo Ictus much more make ufe 
of him, upon all occafionsj Truft and cleave 
to him,not like good i^ffa(but not good in this) 
who forgot himfelfe, and fern firft to the Phy- 
fitians. But let us efpecially rely upon God 
and looke to him, who can create helpe, and 
muftblefle all meanes whatfoever. Hee is a 
healing God, who will heale all rebellions, and 
the moft grievous fickneffes ; he is a Phyfitian 
that is good forallturaes.There are fome di- 
feafes which are called the fcorne of Phyfitians, 


The Returning Backflider* 

3 wherein in 
fomc cafes, they are put to a^ftand and know 
not what to dee; but God is "never at alofTe, 
his skill cannot be fet downe, he is good ac all 
difeafes; to pardon all manner of fins.T^"": 
forc-Jetusgoetohim for cure, S"***5f* 1S 
neither finne, nor 9 n^, nor terror of con- 
fcieno- */uig tncreupon which can be io great, 
but God can cure both the fin and the terror, (if 
^e takcarightcourfe) and fpeake peace ro the 
foule. God is a healing God, arifing when he 
comes,^/^ healtngiv hts wings. A she (aith,/ will 
hcalc their rebellion } &c. And as hce is a healing 
Phyfman, foheputshis patients to no charge; 
for as he faith,f will heale their backejlidtfig, fo he 
faith,/ will love them freely. 

Therefore let us the more build upon this 
truth, which is indeed the fum me of all God- 
lincffc; For wfatis theGofpell, but the tri 
umph of mercy* doe but confider the fcope 
of God in the new Covenant, whereof the Sa 
crament is a feale : which is onely to (hew 
forth the exaltation of the Grace and Mercy 
of God in jefus Chrift, above all urworchi- 
ncfie whatsoever. For all there, is for the 
glory of his Mercy. For in the Covenant of 
grace, mercy doth triumph againft judgement 
andjuftice, which mercy of God in Chrift is 
ftid by the Apoftle, t$ raigw unto life ever- 
Lining by I e fits Ckrift our Lord. It reignes, and 
hath a reciment above, and over all. For mer 
cy in God ftirred up his Wifedorne to dc vife a 



SER. V. 


Tl&tfree mtrcy 
is tbe fcope of 
GoUin toe new 



The Returning Back/lidtr. 

teft fin which is 
pardonable is to 
glory of his 

I ial. 1 45 

77uf we honour 
G 3,1 mo ft of all 
hygmin? him 
the glory o/ bis 

way by fhedding of the blood of Chrift Jefus 
God-man, to iatisfie divine Juftice, and re- 
joy ce againft it/ But whence comes this that 
juftice fhould be fo fatisfied; becatife a way is 

^ out how none of Gods Attributes are 

>fer$byu- rVw Wherefore in any temptati 
on when we are prout ^ ^ifot of Gods love ; 
fay, what (hall we wrong Goo more bj <iUn$ 
in queftion his mercy, and the excellency of his 
loving kindnefie,which is more then any other 
finne we have committed ? This is a fin fuper- 

?.ed ;againft his Mercy, Power, GoodnefTc, 
Gratioufnefle and Love in healing of finne: 
which takes away the glory of God in that At- j 
tribute, wherein he labours to triumph, raigne, j 
and glorifiehimfelfe moft, and which is ovtralll 
his wwkes. Therefore hee that offends herein, j 
in denying God the glory of his great, tender j 
unfpeakeable mercy, whereby he would glo- i 
rifie himfelfe moft in the Covenant of grace,he 
offends God moft. 

Therefore, let us at fuch times as God awa 
kens confcience, be fo farre from thinking that 
God is unwilling to cure and helpeus, as to 
thinke that hereby we (hall Honour God more 
by beleeving, then we difhonoured him .by our 
finne. For t he faith of an humble contrite finne r 
it glorifies God more then our better obedi- 1 
cue in other things doth : becatife it gives him! 
the glory of that wherein he delights, and will j 
be moft glorified : the glory of his mercy and, 
truth, of his rich abundant mercy thac hath n& 

bounds. 1 

The Returning Backflicftr. \ 147 



bounds. Thereisnocomparifon betweene 
mercy of God in the Covenant of grace, and 
that to {^Adam in the ftate of nature : for in the 
firfthedidgood to a good man, firft he made 
him good, and then did him good: but when 
mandid degenerate, and was fallen into fuch a 
curfedcftarc as we arc, for God then to be good 
to a finner, and freely to doc good, here is 
goodneffe indeed, triumphant goodneflc. Cainc 
was a carfed perfon, whofaid, my funifitnent 
is greater then c&n be born? wee know who 
fpake it ; no, God is a Phyhdan for all difeafdfc, 
fthcy be crimfonfwnes, hee can make them 
vtnte as wooll. 

Who would not be carcfull therefore to 
earch his wounds, his finnes to the bottbme ? 
et the fcarch be as deepe as we can, considering ! wr 
hatthere is more mercy inc/od, then there can 
>c fi.wt in us. Who would favour his foule, 
efpccially confiJering, if he ncglcdt fcarching 
f it, finnes will grow deadly and incurable 
pon that negleft. Let this therefore incouragc 
is not to fpare our felvcs, in opening the 
vounds of our foules to God; that he may 
pare all. Thus we faw formerly, The Church 
icre is brought in dealing plainely with God 
and confeiTing all (for flie had an excellent Tea 
cher) and God anfwers all ; beginning with 
his, / will he A!C their lAclttttiding. They were 
dolatcrs^and guilty of theiinnesof the fecond 
Tablcinahigh meafure (no pettie finnes) yet 
~ od faith, / will heale their lAcktJlu&ng> &c. 

L Which 


The Returning 



Which being healed, then an open high- way is 
made for all other mercies whatsoever, which is 
the next point we Obf crve hence ; 

That the chiefe mercy of all, which leades unto ah 
the reft, is thefardon and forgiveneffe of fins. 

Healing of the guilt of finne we fee is fet in 
the front of thefe Petitions formerly {hewed 
which as it is the firft thing in the Churches 
defire, Take away all iniquity, &e. So it is the 
firft thing yeelded to in Gods Promife ; j 
mil heale th:ir backejlidingj&c. Pardon of fin 
aid cure of finne, whereby the confcience cea- 
fethro be bound over to condemnation is the 
firft and chiefeft blefling of God^ and is tha 
for which the Church falls out in a triumph 
Who is 4 God like unto thee, that pardoneth ini 
quity, and faffeth by the tranferefion of th 

tfn &nt of his hemzge, bectttfc hee delighteth in 
mercy ? fee. And this isthat excellent and fwee 
conclufionof the new Covenant alfo, where 
upon all the reft of thofe former foregoin 
mercies then? are grounded : for, I will f or ^ 
their iniquity, and I mil remember their finne n 
mere Yea this is the effe<3 of that grand Pro 
mfe made to his Church after rhe returne o 
their captivity. In thtfe dales, and at that tim 
[faith the Lord, the iniquity of Ifvael frail b 
fought {or, And there frail be none, and the fi 
of ludah, and they frail not be found ^ for, I w 
fardonthem wbomlreferve. The point is plain 
andclccre enough^ it needs no follov^ing. T 
Reafon iSj 


The Returning Backflider. 






Bccaufe it takes away the interpofing cloud : 
God is gratious in himfelf c, pardon of finne re- 
moovcs the cloud betwixt Gods gratioas face 
and the foule. Naturally God is a fpring of 
mercy, but our finnes flop the fprirg, but 
when finne is pardoned, the flop is taken away, 
and the fpring runs amaine. God is not mcrci- 
full,as a flint y celds fire by force, but as a fpring 
whence water naturally iflues. 

Stcir g f .rgivenefle of fins unftops this fpring, 
why doe we not feele this mercy { ^ 

Surely, becaufc fome fin or other is upon the 
file uncancelled, perhaps unconfefled, or be- 
caufc we are ftuft with Pride that we bcleevc **>* f ene 1 
not,or are fo troubled,or trouble our felves, that 
we apprehend nor, or beleeve not the par 
don of finnes confefled and hated. But furcit 
s, Forgivenefle of finnes unftops the faring tf 
wrcj, and uwailes Gods gratious face in lefts 
Chrtftuntotu. Sinrac being not pardoned, this 
ftops, as the Prophet fpeakes, our iniquity is 
hat which keepesgood things from us. Ther- 
bre the checfc mercy is that which remoovcs, 
hut which unftops the current of all mercy :,/ 

// bf ale their backeflidin^&c. Lookeas a con 
demned Prifoner in the Tower, let him have 
all contentment, as long as he is in the difplea- 
lire of the Prince, ftands condemned, and the 
cntcnceunreverfcd, what true contentment can 
lehave? none at all. So it is with a (inner, that 
lath not his pardon and quietus eft from heaven: 
ecld him all contentment which the world 

L 2 can 

SfiR. V. 

!onah 1.4. 


The Returning Back/litter. 

can affoord; all the fatisfaftion that can iffue 

torn the creature; yet, what is this to him, as 

ong as he hath not mercy, and that his confci- 

ence is not pacificd,becaufe it is not cleanfed and 

wafhed with the blood of Chrift ? 

Sinnc is like lonas^ whilfthe was in the flu p 
ther<2 was nothing but tempeft : like ^4chan 
the Army, whilfthe was not found out Gods 
judgement followed the. cam pe. Sinne is tha 
which troublcth all, therefore it nuift be taken 

ay firft, and therewith all evill is taken 
away: therefore, the fir ft mercy is a forgiving,! 
pardoning and quieting mercy. When the 
blood ot ] fus Chrift by the hand o faith is 
fprinklcd upon the foule, God creating a hand 
f faith to fprinkle and fhed it upon the foule $ 
Cbrift loved mee 9 and gave bimfclfe for mez^^ 
then the foule faith, though my finnes be great, 
yet the fatisfa&ion of Chrift isgreaer: God 
hath loved me, and gave his owne Sonne for 
mee, and I apply this to my felf e,as it is offered 
to me, and take the offer, this pacifieth the 
foijle, as it is written. The Blood ef CHRIST 
who through the eternall Sfivit offered htm- 
felfe without ffot to God*, is that which fttr* 
geth our confcience from dead workes to ferve the 
living God. To a Repentant finner, \ti\sBlood. 
offprtnkling fpeakes better things then the blood 
of ^[ bell: not as his blood cried for vengeance: 
butrwrcjjiKrcy. When the foule is thus paci 
fied, there is the foundation of all other mercy 
j whatfoevcr. The Order is this, when God is 


The Returning BackJIMtr. 

reconciled all is reconciled, when God is 
peace withusinthe ForgiveneflTc of fins, then 
all is peaceable at home and abroad, conscience 
is in peace within, and all the creatures at peace 
without, all which with all that befalls us, have 
jacommand to doe usno hurt: as Utv</ gave 
charge tc the people of ^bfoUm. When God 
is reconciled, and at peace, all things are at 
[peace with us 3 for is not he LordofHolls, who 
f hath the command of all the creatures^therfore 
this grace of forgivenefTe is the chiefe grace. 
Tofhewit in one inftance mores David w%s 
a King and a Propher,a comely and a valorous 
perfon,but what cfteemed he moil t did he fay 
blefTedistheman, who is a King or a Prophet, 
or a valiant War riour, or hathDominion,Obe- 
dience, or great poflcffions as I have ? O no, 
B lefitd Is the man rvhofe fins Art forgiven, And who (e 
iniquities are covered. You fee wherem this holy 
man D^/Wfctsand pitcheth happincffe^ in the 
forgiveneffe of finnes : BlcfTed is fuch a man. 
Though he were a great King, he knew well 
enough,that if his finnes were not pardoned and 
coveredjhe had beenea wretched man, 

Therefore, this fhould teach us to dcfireofi 
God continually the pardon of our fins,and we 
liould make it the cheefc defire of our foules, 
hat God would (hine Upon them in Jefus Chrift, 
^ardon and accept us in his beloved, they goe 

And bldTc him for this above all other ble Vfi 
ings,asit iSjP/^/.icj.i,^. Blejfe the Lord o my 

. V. 


SER. V. 


& to 
that God hatt 


ning there be 

The Returning Backflider. 

kulc } anda>l that it wthi mee hleffe his holy , 
c. Why * Wbtfitgi vcth all thyimqwucs and 
alctbalLthyJifeafts. We fh,>uld blefle God 
moftot all for this, that he hathdevifed away 
by Chrift to receive (atisfa&ion for fin, ro par 
don ir>and fay unto cur foulcs, / am thy fa 
this isthegreateft favour of all. 

Butyouaslcc, How dial I I know, that 
hath healed my fcule in regard of the forgivc- 
neflc ofiinnes i 

The anfwer is, if together with far Jen offmnc 
ktAltfinne : for God when he takes away ti c 
vcnomc of a wound that indangers death, the 
deadly difeafe, he takes away alfoche fwclling 
of the wound and glowing of it. When hee 
cerifcthtomake it deadly, he henles the foule 
withal l,and jubdues oar iniquities, as his Promife 
is. So there is together wiih pardoning mercy, 
curing mercy in regard of San^ification. 
Where God is a Father to make us Sonnes, 
he is a Father to beget us anew: fo where Chrift 
comes by BleodtQ wafh away our finnes, he^ 
comes by Water alio and the Holy Ghoft : where 
hee is zCowf&ner in the forgivencflc of finnes* 
he is zStft&jftr; And the foule of adiftreflc<J 
fioncr lookes to the one as Bellas the other, 
A ; ke the foule of any maci wlK>is truly hum- 
blcd,what doe you chiefly dcfire ? O^thar God 
would pardon my finnes : But is that all ? No j 
That he would alfo heale my finnes, and fub- 
due my Rebellions: that I may not any lon 
ger be under the government and tyranny of 

The Returning Back/liefer. 

__ __ __ 

my lufts; but under Gods gratious governe- SER V- 
mcnr, who will guide mee better then before. 

This we fee to be the Order in the Ltrds 
I after we are taught ro fay , Forgive M oitr trefpaf- 
fes, it followes, ^ nd leade us not into tempta 
tion, bat deliver us from tvill, which is for the 
time to come: So David) Cleanfe mee from my 
fecret finnes , and keepe me that prefampttiws Jlns 
have not dominion over me^ &c. So that this is 
the defircof an afflided confcience truly hum 
bled-, curing as well as covering of finne. Ttys 
isafure evidence that our fins are pardoned. 

Then agairte when there ?s ftace, when the 
foulc feeks this, it is afigne that God hath 



heal d thefotile: For (faith the 
jnjlifiedky faith, we have peace with Cod through 
our Lord lefa Chrifl^ the Blood of Chrift hath 
a pacifying power in forgiveneflc of finnes. 
When Ion AS was caft out there was aca!me:So 
when finne is caft out and pardoned, there is a 
calmcinthefoute; which comes from thefor- 
givenefTe of finnes. 

Againe, Healing is knowncby this, if wee 
have hearts willing to be fearched, for then our 
will is cured 3 which U the ftate of grace is more 
then our Obedk nee : when we would be better 
then we are, then certaintly our will is not in! 
league with corrupt ions. Now where the will) 
is fo much fandtificd, Irefjlvctobe better, [j 
would be better, and 1 ufc all mranes, b.imjj 
glad when any joynes with me againft my cor 
ruptions, I am glad of all fuch advantages, 

L 4 here! 


By Peace, 
Rom. 5. i. j 

When tare 

By our eftima, 
tion of heavo 


The Returning Backslider* 

icre is a good figne. As now,when a man goes 
o Church,and dcfircs, O that my corruptions 
might be met withall, O that I might be laid 
open to my felfe,and know my felfe better then I 
lave formerly done : this is the defire of anin- 
jenuousfode. Where there is no guile of foule, 
a man is glad to have himfelfe and his corrupti 
ons difcovered>whercas another frets and kicks, 
and rageth againft the Word of God, which is 
a figne that there is (ome league betwixt him 
and his fin. You have fomc, that above all things 
m\,he world,rhey would not have fuch and fuch 
downe- right Minifters: O take heed this is a 
figne of a hollow heartland that a man is in love 
with his difeafe : can there be a cure where there 
is-alove of the difeafe ? 

Nocto name many, the laft (whichis ahigh 
pitch) fball be by our estimation of things hert^? 
and above : What hath this healing wrought in 
thee? What eftimation of things? How is thy 
heart weaned from the world r How are thy af- 
fe&ionsfet on things which are above? When 
afick man is foundly recovered, though his di- 
ftempercd pallate could not relifli the beft 
meaics in his fickneffe, yet now he rclifli:$ and 
loves the beft mod of all. v Looke then to 
felves, how forget we with blefled S.Pa 
things which are behind, frtfiing hard to the marke 
which is before^-for the high price of that Calling ? 
How.ftand we affe<5ted to long for our Countrey, 
this world being only the place of our pilgri 
mage?- Surely a joule that is foundly healed Js an 



The Returning Backflider. 

undervaluing foule, to ufc this world and ali 
things therein as though we ufed them not : anc 
itisalfo a valuing Joule, to covet fpiritual! 
things above all. O(fai h David) how I love thy 
law, it a my m:d(tatio* All the day. I love thy Com 
mandements above gold,y ca abovejinego!d.~\\e joy 
of this eftate,# 4j0y unffaktM* and glorias : o 
which it is (aid, theftrongerfiall not middle with. 
This much concerning the difeafe, before we 
cometo the eureka Qoeftion arifeth. 

Whence then comes a calme in a carnall per- 
fon? * 

From ignorance and deadnefTe of confcience, 
or from diverfion : as a fick man when he talkes 
with another man that is his friend, his minde 
s diverted that he fceleth not his fickneflfeall 
ic while; fo wicked men, either their confci- 
nces are feared, and they goe on in fin, or elfc 
ley havediveifions.Greatperfonsare loath to 
ieare,andareufually full of diverfions, from 
ic time they rifc,till they fleepe againe : all di- 
erfions bufie confcience about other things, fo 
ley keepe themfelves that it may not trouble 
lem. But the peace of a true Chriftian comes 
torn another ground ; from found knowledge 
f his difeafe, and from found fatisfa&ion, by 
"aith knowing Chrift; the Spiric of God fea- 
ing this knowledge to thefoule: if peace be 
uis fetled, ir is a figne of a found cure. 

But you will fay, How (hall I know that my 
ns are pardoned,whcn I am lubjcdt to thofc fins 





I Pet. i. 8. 


SBR. V. 

\ pardon of Jin t 
when cotrupti 
Ion gives foyles 

The RetwmngBackJlider. 

Not to fpeakc of tranfient a&uall finnes, that 
are paft and pardoned when wee have repen 
ted of them : but of the rootcof all finne 5 which 
is weakeneCfe and corruption in us, fortified and 
(asrtwere) intrenched by nature, occafions 2nd 
cuftome, of this the Queftionis; How to dif- 
cerne of pardon> the rooteof finne remaining, 
and now and then foyling us? The Anfwens 
Affirmative, we may have that finne pardoned, 
which yet occafionally may foyle us ftill. For 
a man is in the ftateof health, though he have 
thetiregs of a difeafe hanging upon him,whcre- 
by a man ofttimes hath fome little fie of the di 
feafe. When nature and phyficke hath prcvai- 
led over the difeafe 5 yet after that, there may j 
begrudgings. So when God hath cured the 
fbule by pardon, and hath begun to cure in i 
Sandification, the cure is wrought, though j 
fome dregs remainc: becaufe thofe dregs are I 
carried away with daily phyficke, and daily 
flying to Gv&>Lord forgive etir debts, Lord heale \ 
at : every prayer and renewing of Repentance j 
carries fome debt away, till death comes, that; 
excellent Phyfitian, which once for all per- \ 
fe&ly cures both foule and body bringing both j 
there where both {hall have Perfe&ion. 

But you will fay, is Gods grace vveake, that; 
it cannot carry away all dregs of corruption, as^ 
well as pardon ? Why is pardon in the forgive- ; 
neffc of fins abfolute, when yet God fuffers thcj 
dregs to remaine, fo as we ftill are fubjedl to the ; 
difeafe of fin? 


Tbt Returning Backflider. 

God is wife,let us not quarrell with our Phy- 
fician, for he is vvifer then we our fclvcs . for he 
makes rhefereliques medicinall tons: as thus, 
Naturally we are prone to fccurity and fpirituall 
pride, therefore he makes a medicine of our in 
firmities, to cure fpirituall pride and fecurity 3 
and to fet us a worke. Therefore the lebufites 
andtherefidue of thatkindc, were Icftuncaft 
out from among Ifracl, that thereby he might 
proovelfrael, and leaft they fhould be a prey 
unro wilde hearts to devoure them. Sofome re 
minders of the flcfh arc left ftill in the btft, mat 
thefe wilde beafts might not prey upon their 
foules, fpiritudll pride, which is a detcteftable 
finne, robbing and denying God of his Preroga- 
tive,and fecurity,the grave of the foule: to cure 
thcfe two efpecially, God makes the reliques 
and remainders of finne a medicineunto us. 

Why doth God fuffer ihcfc infirmities and 
difeafes to remainein us t 

Difeafes are fuffered to put us in minde of in 
firmities in the roote, which we knew not be- 
re^ for ifthefc fl-iould not fometimes breake 
foith into adifeafc, we would thinke our nature 
were pure : therfore God fuffers them to breake 
forth into difeafes. Who would have thought 
that U^lofss had beene paflionate * cercainely 
himfelfedidnot know himfeifeat the waters of 
Rrife: that the feeds of anger fhould be in the 
meekcft man in the world? who would have 
\ thought that-D^/Vwhofe heart ftnotehhia for 
; cutting off the lap of Sank garment, that fo 



and infirtait;et 


SBR. V. 


gainers by tbeir 

In Vfbxt cafe 
we mty be com* 


The Returning BackJIider. 

milde a man (hould have cruelty in him ? and yet 
after that, he committed murther. Who would 
have thought that Pcttr , who made fuch prote- 
ftationsof love to Chrift, that though all men 
ferfookehim, yet he would not, yet after- that 
{hould denie his Matter, and forfweare him ? all 
which was to {hew us, that it is ufefull for us 
fometimestohave our corruptions breakeout,to 
put us in minde what inward weakenefles wee 
have tinknowne and unfearched in us, and that 
wee may know the depth of our corruption. 
G^ds children are gainers by all their infirmi 
ties and weakeneffes, whereby they learne to 
ftand flrongcr. Heere is a maine difference be 
twixt the flips of Godschildren,and thcordina- 
rie evill courfcs of others: they grow worfc and 
worfe, the oftcr they fall into fin^the more they 
are fetled upon their dregs. But Gods child 
hath the remainders of corruption in him,from 
whence he hath iafirmities, and whence hee 
breaks into difeafes: but notwithftanding, cor 
ruption is a loofcr hereby 5 fortheofter he falls 
incofinne, it is the weaker and weaker : forthe 
more he fees the roote of it>the more he hates it, 
refolvesand ftrives againft ic , till it be confum- 
mated by Repentance and Sanctifying grace. 
Let no man therefore be too much caft downe 
for infirmities, though ofttimes they breakc out, 
if thereupon we finde a renewed hatred, Repen 
tance and ftrength againft them : for God looks 
not fo much how much corruption there is in us, 
as how we fiand affcded to it, and what good 
there | 

The Returning Eackflider. 

there is: whether we be in league with it, and 
refill it. It is not finnethat damnes men, bat fin 
with the ill qualities: fin unconfeffed, not grie 
ved for 5 and unrefifted, elfe God hath holy ends 
in leaving corruption in us, toexercife, tricus, 
and kecpc us from pther fins, 7 herefore fin is left 


"Now the way to have it cured, both in the 
Pasdon, and likewifcin 9m8tfcMmi we have it 
in the Context ; what doth God fay . I will 
heale their back ft dng ,&.&&&?} had fearc^ed 
their hearts, and thereupon found iniquity j and 
then prayed, Take away all iniquity, after they 
had dcfired a divorfe from their finncs, ^Jlur 
fiallnot favtu* : and when they had fome faith 
that God would cure thero,and accordingly put 
confidence in God, the Father of the Fathcrleffe. 
Then faith God, / will he Ale their backeflidwg, fo 
that fenfcof pardon in the forgiveneffe of fins, 
and fenfc of grace, coaies after fight, fenfe, 
wearineffe and confeffion of finne. God doth 
not pardon finne, when it is not feene,forrowed 
for, nor confeffcd, and where there is not 
fome degree of faith, to come to God the 
Father of the Fatherle/e, and the great Phyfiti- 
an of foules. Whenwedoethis^asit is faid in 
the Context, then wee find the forgiveneffe 
of finncs, with the gratious power of Gods 
Spirit healing of our difeafes. / wtll heale their 
back fli ding. 

Let us therefore remember this, leaft we de 
ceive our foules 5 for it is not fo eafie a thing to 


SER. V. 

Tie way to 
havefnne cu 
red hot bin hea 
ven and infenfe 
of conference 
by Sanftifcati 

orgivene/k of 
~nnef be freely 
wen syetibe 
hereunto cofts 
f detrct 


Pfal 32,3,4, 

The Returning 

attaine unto forgiveneflfe offinnes aswethinke. 
And then againe, though forgivenefle of fins 
be frec,yet notwithftanding there is a way whcr- 
by we come to forgivenefle of fins, thatcofts us 
fomewhar ; God humbles the foule firft, brings 
a man to himrelfe, to thinke pf his courfe, to lay 
open his finncs and fpread them before God in 
confdfion, and working upon the foule hearty 
Repentance: fo to come to God, and wake for 
forgivenefle of fins,perhaps a good while before 
th^rebea report of ir. There are none who have 
fins forgiven, but they know how they come by 
itrfor there is a predifpofition wrought in a mans 
foule by the Spirit which teacheth him, what 
eftate he is in,and what his danger is,whcrcupon 
followes confcflion, and upon that peace. God 
kecpes his children many times a long while up 
on the rackc before he fpcakes peace unto them 
in the forgivenefTc of fins, becaufe he would not 
have them thinke fleightly of the riches of his 
mercy. Itisnoeafie matter to artainc unto the 
fcnfe of the forgivenefl e of finnes,though indeed 
we (hould ftrivc to attaine ir, that fo we may 
walke in the comforts of the Holy Ghoft. The 
difficulty of obtaining or recovering the fenfe of 
forgivenefle^may be feene in D4i>/X,aftcr his fall 
did hecafily obtaine fenfe of pardon? Ono, 
God held him on the racke a longtime, Htroa- 
redttttbe day long* his moisture was turned into the 
drought if Summer. But when he had refol ved a 
thorough and no Height confeflion 5 whenhee 
had refolved to fhame hirafclfe, and glorifie 


Returning Backflidcr, 

God ; then faith he, 
but till he dealt thoroughly with his fouJc with 
out all guile,he felt no comfort. So it k with the 
children of God, when in theftare of grace they 
fall into fin it is no fleighc, L ordhwe mercy upon 
tf, that will fcrve thcturnej but a thorough fha- 
mipg of themfelves before God 5 and a thorough 
confcflion, refolvingand determining to be un 
der another govcrneraent 5 to have Chrift to go- 
verne them, as well as to pardon them : God 
willnootherwifedoit. Becaufehc would glo- 
rific his rich mercy herein : for who would gfve 
mercy its due glory, if forgivenefle wrrceafily 
attained without fhaming of our fclvesf If it 
came cafily without proteftation and waiting 
upon God, (as the Church hecre) we fliould ne 
ver be thoroughly humbled forourfinncs, and 
God would never have the glory of his mercy, 
nor knowne to be fo juft in hating of finne in his 
deare children, who long ago upcn fuch tearmes 
have attained fenf e of forgivencffe of fins. It is 
worth our trouble to fearchour foulcs, and to 
waiteat Chrifts fcete, never to give over untill 
we have attained the fcnfe of forgiventfleof fio. 
Jusjieavcn upon earth to have our confciences 
inbrged with Gods favour in the pardon of fin. 

What is the Reafon that many profefie, that 
God is mercifull, and Chrift hath pardoned 


mujt watte and 
be bumbled be 
fore the fen fe oj 

"battlere car 

vvofenfe of 

if the ground be right, t 
conceit of mercy : 3nd fuch have beene foimdiy 
humbled for their fins. ButdoftthouprofeflTe fo 
wholiveft carclcfly in thy fins and licentioufly 
_____ ^ ftillj 



The Returning Backjlicter. 

Kll; furelythy ground 4saaught, for badftthou 
>cene upon the racke, in Gods fcalding-houfe 
nd fmartcd foundly for fin $ wtyjldeft thou take 
plcafure ftil to live in finne > O no. Thofe that 
joe on carelefly in their actions and fpeechcs not 
caring what they are> did they ever {mart for fin 
who carrie theaifelves thus ? Surely thefe were 
never foundly humbled for finne, nor confeffed 
hem with loathing and dcteftation. Therefore 
ct us marke the Context heere inferred, after 
[icy had confefTed, praicd and waited ,refolving 
Information in their falfe confidence: then God 
KQm\k\h,Iwillhealttheir is a fun- 
lamentall error in a Chriftian courfe, the 
leighting of true humiliation, which goes along 
n all the Fabrick and frame of a Chriftian 
courfe.Letamannot be foundly humbled with 
he fight of his finnes, his faith is weaker, 
and his San$ification and comfort the 
leighten Whereas if a man would deale truly 
with his owne heart, fet up a Court there, and 
arraigncj judge,andcondemne himfelfc (which 
is Gods end in all his dealings, affiuftions, and 
ludgcments inflided upon us) the deeper wee 
went in this courfe, the more would our comfort 
be and the report of Gods mercy, in the fenfe 
of that which folio wcs: 
ftedy, for mine ^4 
ned AW AJ. 

u tur 

The end *f the fifth Sermon. 





Hos, 14. 4,5. 

**lTi>in love them frctty, fa mine Anger is 
turned away. 

a* the De& unto Jfrael: be /bad grow 
<t* tb? IMiiejMdca ft forth his Roote & Le 

T was a good fpccch of S. 
uJufin, thofc that are to 
petition great perfons , 
they will obtaine fome 
who are skilfull to frame 
their Petitions, lead by, 
.^ ^~^ ^, their unskillfullncffe they: 
provoke Anger inftccd of carrying away the j 
benefit dcfired. So it is here with Gods people 
being to dcalc with the great God, and not be- 

M ing 


The Returning Backjlider, 

ng able to frame their owne petitions, God (as 

we heard before) doth it for them : a ad anfwers 

tiem gratioufly with the fame mercies which 

le had fuggefted them to aske 5 his anfwer be- 

ng cxaft to their petitionss / will heale their 

backflidtng* I will love them fnely*&c. where- 

n God exceeds all Phyfitiar.s in the world 

whatfoever,for they have nature to hclpe them. 

Phjfick is the mitt-wife of Nature, helpiug it to do 

hat which it cannot doe of it felfe : Phy fick can 

do nothiogtoa dead man ^ but God is fo great a 

Phyfitian, thithe firft gives life, and after that 

fpirituall Life is in lome degrees begun, by little 

and little he heales moie and more, / will heale 

their bAekJlidingt. 

We have anerror crept inamongft fame of 
the meaner ignorant fort of people, whotbinke 
that God fees nofinne, when he hath once par- 
doncd men in Juftification,whofalfely fmooth 
themfelves in this wicked fenfuall conceit, 
thinkc they can commit no finne offenfive to 
God ; as though God fliould frame fuch a Jufti- 
fication for men, to blindfold him and caft duft 
(Is it were) in his eyes: or juftifiemen to make 
them loofe and idle. No, itisfalfe, asappea- 
reth by this place , for how can God heale that ! 
he fees not ? He fees it not to be revenged on 
them for ir, but hee fees-finne, to corred it and 
to heale it. He fees it t>ot after a revengefull 
wrathfull juffice tocaftusinto Hellanddamne 
us for it ; blithe fees it after a fort to make us 
fmart and lament for ir, and to have many times 


The Returnwg Back/litter. 

a bitter fenfc of his wrath and forfaking,as men 
undone without anew fupply of comfort and 
I peace from Heaven. Let a man ncglcft San&i- 
fication, daily forrow and confcflion of finae, 
and now and then even craving new pardon 
for finncs paft, cafling all upon afantaftickc 
conceit of faith in their juftification : whatfol- 
lowcs,but Pride, Hardneffc of heart, Contempt 
of others and negledof better then thcmfelves, 
and pronencflfcjOUt of Gods judgement, to fall 
from ill to worfe, from one error to another^ 
In this cafe the heart isfalfeand deceitful!, for 
whilft it pretends a glorious faith to looke back 
toChrift^to liveby faith, and lay allonhimby 
juftification j it windes it felfc out of alltaskcs 
of Religion, fets the heart at liberty, negleds 
Sandification and Mortification of lufls, and 
beautifying the image of God in them, giviag 
too much way to the flefh. Therefore away 
with this falfe and felfe-conceited opinion : 
which drawes poyfon out of that which God 
fpeakes to confirme and ftablifli us, That be fees 
ne iniquity in laco^&c. Whence from thefe 
Hyperbolicall fpeeches, they thinke that God 
feethnot that which we our felves fee, But 5 ^ 
leswrbackflidinvs, therefore hee fees them, 
forhowcanheheale a wound, if he fee it not? 
Ht fees it, but not to their definition whoare 
free-ly juftified by his grace. But we will have 
this point, it being too much honour to them to 
fpcndtime in confutation of it and will rather fay 
unto it, as ifatah fpeakes of amenftruouscloth, 
get t bee hence. M 2 _ Now 


The Returning Backflider. 


Now as God is a moft gratious God, never 
weary of well doing and comforting his people, 
becaufe it is his nature to be mercifull : Sohee 
hath futeable expreffions of it, hee goes on 
with mercy upon mercy, loving kindntffe 
upon loving kindneflfe. Hee had promifed be 
fore: / mil heale their Backeflidings, take in 
fumme all their Apoftacie, all {hill be healed. 
But this is not all, heeanfwers all the accufa* 
tions and doubts of Satan : who i 

itig againftusour unworthine(Te,mifery,wretch 
eanefleto have fuch favours conferred on fuch 
filthy creatures: Therefore, hec takes of a!] 
with this which followed!, astheyhad prayed, 
Rttcivew gr*ti0#fy : So thcanfweris full, and 
fuitable to their requeft. 

/ will love ta:m fredy. 

guilt (hould fee no worth in themfelves 01 caufc 
why they fliould berefpe&ed: yetlfceieafon 
in mine owne love. 

I mil love tkcmfredy. 

But may fome fay, How can God love 
freely ? Aske shy fclfe, doth no: a father and 
a mother love their child freely? whar doth 
the child deferve of the father and mother a 
great while? Nothing, but the mother hath 
many a weary night/ and fot^e hand with it 
Hath God planted an aff?<aion in ustoloveou 
children f reefy, and fnallnot God much more 
who gives this love and plants it inns, bead 
mitred to love freely. But indeed there is ab 


The Returning Back/Ht&r. 

furdity and infidelity in diftruft. For it is againft 
reafon to deny the mighty God that which wee 
have in out felves. It heedid not love freely 
how could hce love us at all ? what could he 
fore-fee in us to love for before hand * the 
very manhood of Chrift deferved not the grace 
of union, it was freely given. 

/ wtll love them freely. 

That which firft of al weobfcrvc hence is this 
muchi rttff God loves his people jreety . So Rom. 5 . 8, 
p, faith the Apoftle, God commendeth kti love to. 
wards wjn that while we wereyetfwners>Chrift Mi. 
dfir M : much more being juftifed by hts blood, 
wee flail be faved from wrath thorough him. The 
ike wee have in E^ekiett, faith God, Thcre- 
bre,fay unto the houfc oflfrael, thus faith the 
Lord God, / doe net this for your fakes o boufc 
flfrael, but for mine holy Names fake, which 
ee have profaned among the heathen whether yee 
went, i^/fdam when he had finned that mainc 
_reat finne, what did hce * flic from God, run 
away, and when God called to him and dc- 
>ated the matter with him, he accufed God , 
and cxcufed himfelfe. Yet for all this God 
>ittied him, and cloathed him, and made 
lim that promife of the bleffed feed. What 
defert was there here in Adam ? nay, rather 
he quite contrary : yet God loved him ftedy. 
The fame may be faid of S. Paul for the 
imc part a pcrfecurer, what deferving was 
hercinhim? none at all, yet hee found Gods 
rce love in his converfion : for faith God to 

M 2 



Luke if. 10. 

Rcafon i. 

Reafon 2. 

lam. 1.17* 


Cuke 17,10. 

The Returning Batkjlider. 

) He it achofen vejfellunto mee, to bear e 
my, nam$ before the Gentiles. Here was no defer- 
vingin 4 S.P44 but Gods free ele&ion which in 
time tooke place- 3 and fo we may fay of the/W/- 
gall having f pent all^his Father pardoned all and 
loved him freely. 

The Reafon hereof is. i . Becaufe it is hit name 
andnaturetobcgratious, and t love freely, and 
whatfoever is Gods nature>that hath a frc edonie 
in the working. 

2. Becaufe no creature can deferve any thing at 
G0ds hands, i. Becaufe by nature we are all 
Gods enemies and therefore what can ene 
mies deferve * nothing but wrath and venge 
ance. 2. If we have any graces, they are the gift 
of God, and therefore we deferve nothing by 
them^thcy being of his owne gift. So S. lames 
fpeakcs. Every good gift, and every perfitt gift, is \ 
from above and cowmeth dorvnefremthe Father of \ 
lights with tvhdm is no variahlenejfl nor fradow of 
turning. \ AndS.PW faith: That of him > and 
through him^ and to him are all things : what 
fliould follow hereupon t T& whom be glory for 

Thisimhefirft place ferves for reproofc of 
our adverfaries of the Romifh Church : who 
fay, that God loves us for fomething forefeene 
in us which isgood : or for fomewhat which in 
time wee would doe to deferve favour at his 
hands: but both are faifejthecaufe of love is free 
from hrafelfe: for, when we have dwt our bcfl^ti 
(faith the Holy Ghott) man mprof table fer- 


The Returning Backjlider. 

Secondly, it is for reproofe of Cods ownc 
dcare childrcn,who becaufethey finde no defer 
ving in themfelves, arethereforc difcouraged a 
the fight of their own unworthinefle, wherea 
! -juice contrary, the fight of our ownc unworthi 
;ndTc 5 (houldmakeus the more ficfubjcds for 
jChrifts free love: which hath nothing to doe 
with them that ftand upon deferving. Many oi 
Gods dcare children are troubled with tempta 
tions, doubts, and feares of Gods love and 
favour towards them, becaufe they cxpe3 to 
finde itiin the fruits of Grace, and not In free Grace 
itfelfe. If we would have any found peace, let 
us lookc forit in free G>^.Thereforetheblefled 
Apoftle, in the entrance of his falutations in his 
Epiftles, ftill joyneth Grace, and then Peace, 
to (hew us that if we looke for found Peace-, we 
can no where finde it but in Grace. We would 
Sndc Peace, in the Gracethtt is in us; but it is la- 
sour in vaine, for we fhall never finde it but in 
free Grace. 

Hence wee may alfo be comforted in the 

rcrtainctyof pur falvatioh; for that grace and 

ove and favour whereby wee are faved is in 

God, not in us. Now whatfoever is in him is 

immutable and furc. ,So Jfdith . the Apoftle, 

Ne^vertbeUffe tbe fwndrtMtyGlgd ftafldeth [itre, 

laving tbis fe<ilc,tbc Lordkndwctb tbem that are, 

 and let every me ibat nainttbtbe name of 

Chrift, depart: frm iniquity^ ,W ftere-f peaking 

ot elccftion which comes frofh tht free love 

of God, hce makes thai! a ftire ifoundation to 

M 4 build 





lorn. 3. 1 

Rom, j. 10, 

The Returning Backflider* 

build on 5 if there be a reformation u depart 
from iniquity, wee may be comfortably affu- 
red of our falvation. And as it is with Elettion y 
fo is it with all the other fruics of Gods love: 
o^ {^Idoptiw^ luftifaatiov, and Perfeve- 
rancc : the foundation of God faftly fealed in 
the way of holineffe ftands good and fure in, 

This further teacheth us,Thankfuirnefle unto 
God, who hath fo freely loved us, for if there 
Wfere defervingonour part, what place were left 
for thankfallneffe? Weknowoncwhodeferves^ 
nothing and hath fmall matters beftowed upon 
him, at leaft will be thankfuU for fuch favours. 
But when one is fo fane from deferving any 
thing, that by the contrary hee defcrvetb all 
plagues and punifliments : hath yet many and 
abundant mercies beftowed freely upon him, 
this dot k exceedingly provoke (efpeciallya 
generous fpirit) toafuitable thankfullne^ as 
aiuchasniay be. 

And let it likcwife breed Confidence ia us 
to God in all our miferies, both for pardon ol 
finne, hclpe io diftrefTe, and comfort in for- 
rowes, bccaufe he lovtswfael^ and did love 
us whilft wee were enemies : make therefore 
upon all -Gccafions the Apoftles ufe of iti . For if 
when we wm cvemtHs wee were reconciled to God 
by the death ofhisfwne j nwch more being 

y we flail be fav td by his life? 

I w(H love them frtcly . 

In the next phcc/from h<nce we obferve a- 


The Returning Backfidtr. 

[nother point which necefTarily followtrh upo 
the former : That God dtd net then begin to lov 
them, when hefaid I will love them freely : but t 
difcover that love unto them, which hee carried 
nnto them from all eternity. For inftance hereo 
S./Wwas beloved of God, ere God mani 
feftedhis love unto him: as hee teftifieth of 
himfelfe, that the difcovery of this free love 
was, when it f leafed God who fefarated me from 
mothers wombe, and called mee by his Grace, 
torevealthisfonneinmee,&c. So Efhef.i.^^ 
The Apoftle bleffeth God in his falutation 
unto them, who had blefiedthem with all fyiritualt 
tickings in heavenly f laces in Chrifl. But whence 
fetchcth bee the ground hereof? ^ccordh 

hee hathchofen us in him, before the foundation 
of the werld, that we flout d be holy and unblame 
able before him in love. Wee need not multi 
ply places more to prove it, our advcrfaries 
would faincfccmcto clcerc God onely in all, 
and fo (hrowd their arguments under fuch need- 
leffe pretences, fhift of all places, name wee 
never fo many with their ftrong heads, ,di- 
ftin&ions, and fophifmes. But God will one 
day give them no thankes for their labour : 
the nv//of God (how unequall foever in our 
eyes, who cannot with our (hallow conceits 
found the depth of fuch miftcries) being ground 
enough to juftifie all his aftions whatfoever. 
We will therefore come to fome Rcafons of the 




Becaufe, Whatever is in God (inanifefted in 



Rcafin i. 

S BR . VI. 

I lohn 4.8. 
John 14.$, 

The Returning Backflidtr. 

lokn 17- 

lohn 17.24 


# etewdl and evcrl&ftingin him, without 
beginning <M& ending, for whatsoever is in God, 
God.. God is not loving, but Love : and hee 
not onely true, but Truth it felfe : hecisnot 
wife onely>but Wifedome it fclfe. And therefore 
love discovered in time, muft needs be from 
[1 eternity. 

Secondly, if God did then firft begin to love 
us, when he manifeftcd his love unto us, then 
tiere fhould be a change in God 5 becaufe hee 
liquid lave them now, that he did not formerly 
eve, As wee fee, thofe who loved Paul after his 
Converfion, loved him not before, there was 
hen a change in the Church; in which cafe, if 
Godftiould folove, he fliould be changeable, 
and fobe like unfo man. 

And then againe Chrifls Prayer, lohnij. 
makes it cleere,thatthe love of God beginneth 
not with the manifeftation thereof : for Chrift 
there, knowing all the Fathers fecrcts (aseom- 
ming out of the bofome of the Father) intimates 
the contrary : where he raakes one end of his 
pray CT for them to be, Tkat the world may know, 
that tkott haft loved them, of tbou haft lovedme. \ 
Now how hee loved Chrift iVaHo fliewed a 
little after ; For thou lovedft me before the foun 
dation of tht world: Therefore the Saints and 
Children of God are loved with an everlafiing 
former love, nor begbning at that infhnt difco- 
very thereof. 

TT he Uie hereof, is, firft of all, againft thofe 
who mcafure Gods love and favour by thtirj 

owne 1 

The Returning Backflider. 

owncfeeling 5 becaufc as God loved them be 
fore, fobe loves them as well and as dearely 
flill, whcnhehideth his face from them, as 
when he differed his loving kindncflc tofhine 
moft comfonably upon them. He loved Chrift 
as dearely when he hinged on the tree, in tor 
ment of foule and body, as he did, when hefaid, 
This is my beloved fonncjn whom I am well plea feJ$ 
yea and when hee received him up into glory. 
The Sunne fhineth as cleerely in the darkeft 
day,asitdoth in the brighteft. The difference 
s not in the Sunne, but in fomc clouds whith 
under themanifeftation of the light thereof. 
So God loveth us as well, when he fhineth not 
n the brighmeflfe of his countenance upon us,as 
when he doth. lob was as much beloved of God 
nthemiddeftofhismiferies, as he was after 
wards when he came to enjoy the abundance of 
lis mercies. 

I will love them freely cc. 

Thelaft Pciut which we gather from hence, 
s a fpeciall ground of comfort, is thvs : 

That Ms pee love w4 favour of Gvdjstfa c aft ft 
c all other mercies *nd free favours, whereby kt<L^ 
ifcovereth his love unto u*. 

i . It is the caufe tf<elefli*fi> vvenfi then at this 
refent tinx <tlfo there is a r-emnaitt, according to 
be election of grace. So 2. For Vocation: when! 
ic Apoftle had (hewed f;ha; the Ephrfians were 
avedby Grace; hee ar*ids 5 that in the ages to 
orne, hee might fl-jew the exceeding riches 
f his grace, in bis {&d m $e towwds w through 

/ Chrift 



lob 4 1. 


The Returning Backflidtr. 



Rev. 1.5. 

Ephef.i. 8,io 
Rom. 6. 13. 

Chrift lefa : hce afterwards fheweth, when this 
grace began firft to have bcirg, For wee are his 
workemafljhip created unto good workes, which God 
hath before erdaimd that we fiould walke therein. 
3. Forgivcnefle of finnes. In whom we kav< 
a redemption through b<s bUod^ even the forgive- 
nejfc offtntw, according to the riches of his grace. 
804. For the grace of Love: Wee love him fa- 
caufehe levtdMfrJt. 5. For Juftificacion,and 
Sanftification. It is faid> that Chrift hath loved 
u*> why ^ For hee hath wafted utfrom our finnes 
imhis orvne blood $ and S.Iohn faith, Hee hath 
made MS Kings and Priefts unto God and his Fa 
ther, i. Kings to fight againft the world, the 
flefti^and the divell. 2 . Priefts,to teachjinflrudi, 
reprove,and comfort our felves and others by 
the Word of God : and then to offer up the fa* 
crifice of a broken heart, in prayers and praifes. 
All comes from freedome of love. 6. So every 
good Inclination comes hence. For it is God 
which worketb in #*, fatbte will and to doe of bis 
goodfleafure. So 7. Every good Worke : For we 
are his workemanfiip created in Chrift leftts unto 
good workes, which he had before or darned that we 
ftotilj walke therein : For by grace ye are faved 

(faith he) through faith. So 8. For Eternal! life: 
the Apoftle fheweth : // is the gift ofGodjhrougb 
lefa Cbrifl our Lord. 

This ftiould teach us in the firft place to be 
humbled, in that we are fo miferable naughty 
fervants, doing fo little worke, nay nothirg a 
we fhould, yet fliould h^v^ fo good wages: lut, 


The Returning Backflider. 

i Cor 4 7. 
Ephef z.p. 

loh. 1 7.1^,14 

Cod loves w freely, &c. It fhould rather humble 
us the more, then puffe us up in pride, in regard 
that there was nothing in us which might dc- 
feive any thing at Gods hand. 

And hence alfo it followcth infallibly ; that 
if he loved us from everlafting with a free love, 
in aforr, ashe loved Chrift, that thereforethe 
effefts of his love towards us (hall never faile; 
as the Apoft1c(heweth,T/;<? gifts and calling of 
God, are without Repentance. Faith and Repen 
tance being fruits of his love wrought in ys, 
(hall holdout: therforethe weakeneffe of thefc 
graces as they (hall not hinder our falvation ; 
10 more fliould they difcourage us, or hinder 
he comfort of our profeflion. Becaufe that 
Faith and Repentance which wee have, 
s not any worke of ours, but the worke of 
Gods free love in us : therefore they (hali 
DC continued, and accepted. "Pot OCR Pfffive- 
rance doth not ftand in this, that wee have 
tren^th in our felves to continue faithfull to 
od, but brcaufe he out Q( his free love, conti- 
nueih faithfull to us; and will never faile, nor 
brfake them whom he hath once taken ints his 
everlafting favour, on whom hee havh fetbis 
everlafting free love, as the Apoftle fpeakes of 
_hrift. Who alfo flail confrme you, unto the. 
end, that yce may be blamdeffe in the day of our \ l Corx 3 *9- 
L ord lefta Chrift : but upon what ground? 
God is faith/till by whom wee were called unto 
the fellow fb/p of bis Sovne lefus Chrift our Lord. 
So that if any of the Elect (hould fall away, 


i 7 6 



How to rnani* 
our love t 

The Returning Backflider. 

od ftould be unfaithful!. The cafe in Per ft. 
verance is not howfaithfullwecare, but how 
faithfull God is, who guides &* heere with his 
CounftU in att things^ and afterwards receiveth 

iftte glory. So in another place, after the 
Apoftle had prayed, Now the ^ery God of Peace 
Savctife you wholy > and I fray God your whole 

rity and foi+le and body be f referred blamdeffe 
unto the comwingof our Lord lefus Chrift. What 
makethhe the ground of this his Prayer? F&tb- 
full is hee that calleth yvtt, who aljo will 

If (hen we would have God to manifefl his 
free love to us, let usftriveto be obedient to his 
Commandemems, and ftirre up our hearts by 
all meanes to love him,whq hath fo freely loved 

Now how fhould wee manifeft our love to 

FirfWn loving his Word: as P/i/.ip. & pfoi t 
119. Secondly, in loving his people, i loh.^.i > 
2. Thirdly, in longing for,and loving his fecond 
comming, -fl^/. 2 2 . 2 o . 

Nowfollowcth the Reafon of the difcovery 
of this free love fliewed now in time to them. 

For mine linger ti turned aw ay from him. 

Here is the third Branch of Gods anfwer to 
their Petkion, tJMine Anger is turned a^ay from 
him: which is included and implied in the I 
former 5 / witt heale their bach fading ; how 
could hee doe this if he were Angry? No, he 
faith, 1 will love them freely - which argues that 
_^_________^ his 

T&? Returning Backflickr. 

his nngcr was appeafed. God knowcth that 
variety of words and expreflions are all little 
enough to raifc up and comfort a doubting, 
wounded, galled foule: which when it is tou 
ched with afenfeof fin and of his difpleafurc, 
cannot hearc words enough of comfort. This 
God knowes well enough 3 and therefore headds 
cxpreflion upon cxprtfTionr/nv//^^ ^<r/> back- 
ftmngj will love\the?nfrcely Jor mine Anger is tur 
ned away from bim, T\\z foule which is touched 
with the fenfe of wrath and defiled with the 
ftainesof finnes dreadfull imprefiions, receives 
all this checrcfully, and more too : therefore in 
uch cafes, we muft take in good part the largc- 
nefle of Gods exprefllons, Fer mne Anger is tur 
ned AW ay from him. To unfold the words there- 


which God 
hath againft fin, and his purpofe to punifh it, ac 
companied with threatnings upon hispurpofc, 
and execution upon his threatnings. The point 
o be obferved in the firft place is, 

That there is Anger in God against fir*. 

We need not ftand to proove the point it is 
omanifeft to every man, the Scripture isco- 
>ious in it 5 if wee confider cither judgements 
xecuted upon finners , threatnings againft fin, 
or the Saints complaining of it, as Ffal.j& t i. lob 



with many the like places proove, That there is 
4nger in GQd^Aintffwnt-y we will rather fee 
heReafon of k. 

4[--: > .. _ .^^ Bee AH ft 

Ant or of God 


.178 ~ 



Gods Argtr 
again ft fin, 

The Returning Backflidtr. 



a pet. 5 i*. 

Beeaufc there is art i^dntipathie betwixt him and 
e, which is contrary to his pare nature. 
Sinae as it oppofeth God, fo it is contrary unto 
im$ and indeed, fin would turne him out of his 
bveraignty. For what doth a man when he fins 
wittingly and willingly, but turne God out of 
lis governement, and eaufes the divell to take 
up Gods roorne in the hearc? when a man 
*ives way to finne, then the divell rules, and 
ic thinkes his owne lufts better then Gods 
will, andhisownc carnall reafon in contriving 
of tmne above Gods wifedome in his Word: 
therefore he is a proud Rebell. Sinneis fuch 
a kinde of thing that it labours to cake away 
God, for it not onely puts him out of that 
part of his throne, mans heart, but for the 
time a man finnes, hee could wifh there were 
no God to take vengeance of him. Can you 
wonder therfbre that God is fo oppofite tothat, 
whichisfboppofitetohis Prerogative royallas 
finne is ? 

The truth is, God is Angry with nothing 
elfe but with finne, which is the onely objed 
of his Anger. That which foolifbperfons make 
a trifle andfportof, Swearing, filthie fpeaking 
and lying, is the objeft of Gods Anger. For 
this offence of finne, he did not fpare the An- 
gels of Heaven, but tambled them thence, never 
to returneagaine. Sinalfo thruft Adam out of 
Paradice, and made God angry with him and 
the whole world, fo as to defiroy ir with a 
flood of water; and will at lad make him 

The Returning Backflider. 

Mat. 17.45. 

burne and confume up all with a deluge of 
fire. Yea, it made him in n fortangry with his 
owne deare Sonne, when he under-went the 
punifliment of finne, nsour Surety: fo that he 
cried out, U\ty God, my God, why haft thou forfo- 
ken me? If God thus fhnved his anger againft 
finne, in puniflrng it in Chrift our Surety, who 
was made finne for us, and yet had no finne 
in hi.nfclfe: how will hepuni(h ic much more 
in thofe who are not in Chrift : thofe who ftand 
in their owne finne and guilt, what will Be 
come of them ^ So that God is angry with fin 
and with nothing elfr. 

The fecond thing we gather from this, where 
bee faith, My Mger is turned away from Irim^ 
Gods anger being taken efpecially for judge 
ments, is, 

That Gods avgcr if the fteciatl thing in Af~ 

They come from his anger, (ashathbeehe 
flic wed ) therefore he faith, I will take mine 
anger from you, whereby hee meanes judge 
ments, theeffeft of his anger. For in the Scrip 
tures, anger is ordinarily taken for the fruits 
and effefts of Gods anger, which are ternble 
judgements, as we may fee, D<r/*r. 29.20. and fo 
in many other places. 

Judgcmentsthen are called Gods anger. 

Becaufe they iflue from his anger and 
difpleafure : for it is ror the judgements, but \enffejfftti* 
the anger in them, which lies heavy upon the towp 

r i i i r x^ j * vet & tkc mm 

loule; when they come from Gods anger, urr foie. 

N they 



Ira ft 


Returning Backfltderi 




they arc intollerable to the confidence, elfe 
when we fuflfer ill, knowing that it is not from 
Gods anger, but for triall of our graces, or for 
exercife we beare it patiently. Therefore God 
faith, mint tvger is tutntd away from htm, for 
this unremooved imbittereth every crofTe 
though ic be never fo fmail. Let Gods anger be 
upon a man, and he will make a conceit, a very 
light thing, to be as a heavy erode unto him, 
and vexehim both in body and #ate, more then 
mightier croffes at fome other time ffial). Will 
you fee this in one inftance, where God threat- 
neth his owne deare people thus : And the Lord 
will fait* the* with the botch vfJEgypt, And with 
the Ewrejs, tad wththefcab, And with the itch 
whereof thou canfl not he healed, What is a fcab> 
and an itch and the like fuch a terrible judge 
ment, which in thefc daies is fet fo light by * O 
yes, when it comes with Gods difplesfure; 
when theleaflWcratchisfeton fire by Godsan- 
ger, it fliall confume us, it prooves incurable, as 
there it is threatned: whereof then can ft not bet 
healed. When the vermine c^me in Gods an 
ger upon that hard-hearted King; all Pharoahs 
skill, and his <jwagitians skill, could not beare 
them our, becaufe (as they confcflfed) this rv<ts 
thefvger of God. Let any thing come as a merfen- 
ger of Gods anger, it conies with vengeance 
and flicks to the foule, like a fretting lepwfie, 
which when it entredintoa houfe, many times 
could not be gotten out againc with pulling 
out ftones,pr fcraping them,, till the houfe were 

The Returning Backflider. 

dcmoliflied. So when Gods Anger is raifcc 
and kindled againft a perfon, you may rcmoovc 
this and that, change place and company, and 
ufc of helpes, yet it will never leave fretring 
till it have confumed him,unlefTe it be removec 
by Repentance, if it be never fo fmall afcratch 
or itch, al the Phy fick in the world (hall not cure 
it. For as the Love of God makes all other 
things in God comfortable unto us, foit is his 
anger which makes all bis attributes terrible: as 
for his Power, the more he loves me, the mote 
be is able to doe me good ; . But otherwife, the 
more he is angry and difpleafed, the more his 
other Attributes are terrible. If he be Wife, the 
more hee will finde out my finnes; if hee be 
Powerfull and angry, the more he can revenge 
limfelfe on meris he Angry and Juft ; the more 
woe to me. So there is nothing inGod when 
ic is angry, but it is fo much the more terri 
ble, for this puts afting in every thing : which 
when it is remooved out of malignant creatures 
armed with a fting, then they are no more hurt- 
ull. The fting of every evill and croffe,is Gods 
anger and wrath : this being remooved, no- 
hing hurts, all crofTes then are gentle, milde, 
ratable and medicinall ; when God hath once 
aid, for mine Anger is turned away from him. 
After that sgone,whatfoevcrremaineth is good 
or us, when we fecle no anger in it. What is 
bat which blowes the colesof Hell, and makes 
Sell, Hell, but the anger of Godfearing upon 
tic confcience, this kindles Tophct and fets it a 

Nz fire! 


The Returning Backfltden 



Deut. 30.1. 2,3 

fire like a river of Brimftone. Therefore this is a 
wondrous fweet comfort and incouragemenr 
when he faith, For mine anger i$ turned away 
from him,. Whence in the next place we may 

That God mil turne away hit anger upon 

When there is this courfe taken (formerly 
mentioned) to turne untothe Lord and tofue for 
pardon : to vow Reformation, Ajlur fhaS not 
fae ut, and a through reformation of the p^rti- 
cular <inne5 and when there is wrought in the 
heart faith to rely on Gods mercy, as the Father 
of the Fatbtrkfie, in whom they^fnds mercy : 
then Gods anger is turned away. God upon 
, Repentance will turne away his angtr. The 
* point is cleere, wee fee when the Lord hath 
threacned many grievous judgements and 
plagues for finne, one upon the neck of ano 
ther, denounced with all variety of exprcffi >ns 
in the moft terrible manner: yet after all that 

IQ* It followes, 

it Jhall come to paffervhen all thefe things arc come 
tifon tbee^ the Blefltvgf and tke Curps which I 
have (et before thee : and thott fialt call them to 
minde among all the nations whether the Lord thy 
Gzd hath driven thee : and ftalt returne unto tfo 
Lord thy God>&c. That then the Lord thy God 
I will turne thy captivity , and have companion 
upon the&c. After Rcp?ntan:e, you fee the 
promife comes prefemly after: not that the 
one is the meritorious caufe of the other 5 bu 


The Returning Back/liefer 

there is an order of things, God will have the 
one come with the other: where there is not 
fence of fin and humiliation^and thence prayer to 
God for pardon, with reformation and tfufting 
in his Mercy $therc the anger of God abides ftill. 
But where thcfe are. His Anger 1$ turned away. 
God hath cftabliflKd his order, that the one of 
thefe muft ftill follow the other. 

Another excellent pkceto the fore-named, 
we have in the Chronicles. If my people that 
are called by My Name, fia/! humllt themfelves 
and pray : (as they did here in this Chapter, 
Take words unto your (elves ) and feeke my face, 
and turnejrom tbcir wicked wayes : As they did 
here, <^4fJwr fiall not fave w, we mil ntf ride 
upon Horfisfec. We will no more rely on the 
[>arrenfalfe helps offorraifte flreogth, what 
then? I will heart from Heaven^ andwillforgive 
their fwne, and will heale their land. Here is the 
promife, whereof this text is a proofe, fo in 
ill the Prophets there is a multiplication of the 
like inftanccs and promifes ; which we will 
not ftand upon now, as not being controverfiall. 
[t is Gods name fo to doe, as we may fee in 
that well knowne place of Exodus. Jehovah, 
Jehovah, Gdd % tJMercifull and Gratious^ Long 
faffering, and abundant in goedneffi And Truth ; 
keeping mercy for thoufands^ forgiving iniquity and 
tranferefion^ and finne,&<:. And fo it isftid, 
At what timefo ever a finner repents himflfe 
of his finnes from the bottomc of his heart, I 
will put all hisfinnesout of my remembrance, 

N 3 faith 



The Returning 


aith the Lord God. The Scripture isplentifull 
in nothing more, cfpecially, k is the burthen of 
-E^.i8,and33 r forgivcnefleof fins and removall 
of wrath upon repentance* 

And for Examfle : fee one for all the reft, let 

the greater indude the lefler. Mwaffeth was a 

greater (inner then any of us all can be, becaufc 

! he was inabled with a greater authority to doe 

1 rnifchiefe^all which no private man>nor ordina- 

! ry great man is capeableof> not having the like 

power?which he cxercifed to the full in all man- 

net^of cruelty, joyncd with other groffe and 

deadly fins, and yet the Scripture fhewes, that 

upon his humiliation and praying, he found 

inercy:God turned away his anger. 

That of the Pr&digall> is a parable alfo fitted 
for this purpofe ; who had no fooner a Refo- 
lution to returne to his Father. FiUw timtt con- 
vitium, &c. The fonne feares chiding 5 the 
father provides a banquet. So God/doth tran- 
i fcend our thoughts in that kinde: we can no 
fooner humble our felves to pray to him heard 
ly, refolving to amend our wayes and come 
to him, but he layes his anger afide to enter- 
taine tearmes of love and friendfhip with us 
As wee fee in David, who was a good -man 
though he flubbered over the matter of Repen 
tance, all which while Gods hand was fo hea 
vie upon him, that his moifinre was turned in-\ 
to the drought of Summer, hee rQAring til the day 
long. But when once hee dealt throughly in 
the bufindTe, and refolded, / will confeffemy 

The Returning Backflider. 

tranfgrcfiorts unto the Lord:, and thou forgaveft 
tht iniquity of my finnes. Let our humiliation 
be reall and through, with prayer for pardon, 
and purpofcto reforme, and prefently God will 
fhew mercy. 

The Rcafon is cleere, Becaufe it u his 
turc fo to doe : his nature is more inclined to 
mercy then anger: For him tobeangrie, it is 
ftill upon fuppofition of our finnes. But to be 
mercifull and gratious, it alwayes proceeJes 
from his owne bowels, whether wee be fh- 
ners or nor; without all fuppofition God is ftill 
mercifull unto whom he will fhew mercy. 
Who ts a Godlike unto thce ( faith the Prophet ) 
that fardoneth irtiquity, and paffith by the Iran f- 
grefiion of the remnant of his heritage, he retaintth 
not his anger for ever ; bccaufe he delight eth in 
mercy. Things naturally come eafily, without 
paine, asbeamesfrom theSunne, water |from 
the Spring, and as heate from fire : all which 
comeeafily ? becaufc they are natural! . Somer- 
-cy and love from God, come eafily and wil 
lingly : it is his nature to be gratious and mer 
cifull. Though we be finncrs, If we take this 
courfc here ( as the Church doth ) to pray and 
be humbled ; then it will follow, rjttine anger is 
turned away from him. TheUfeis, 

. VI. 



Fiift, to obferve Gods Truth in the perfor- 


mance of his gratious proifes, who as he makes 
gratious pvomifes to usfo he makes them good. 
His Promtfe is, if we confefle our finnes hca 
will forgive them and be mercifull : fo here I ^ Q t8 

Nj, hd 

The Returning Backfltden 


PlaL 9.10. 


he fay es,mine anger u turned away. As they con- 
fefTe, fo he is mercifull to forgive them. It is 
good to obferve the experiments of Gods truth. 
Every word of God isa {Held, that is 3 we may 
take it as afhield. It is an experimentall truth 
whereby we may arme our foules.This is an ex 
perimentall truth>that when we are humbled for 
out fins, God he will be mercifull unto our fins, 
and allay his anger$as it is in this text. Therefore 
t is (aid, Thofe that know thj name will truft in 
foe, for thou never fail eft thofe who put their truft in 
hee. Let us then open our hearts unto God,and 
confcffe our finnes unto him, and if we refolve 
imendraent, we fhall findetha truth of his gra 
ious promifes, hee will rurne afide his anger, 
and will never faile us if wee pue our truft in 
litn. The name of the Lord u a ftrmg tewe 
and the righteous fye to it and are fafe. This 
name of mercy> grace* and favour, is a ftrong 
tower to diftreffeaconfciences, let us therefore 
remember to fly unto it when our consciences 
are awaked and diflreiTe.d withfinne, and fence 
of Gods difpleafure. Seeing thef e kinds of pro 
miles are as a citie of refug^ ler us nmne unto 
them, andweftw!) not be puld from the hornej 
of this akar^ns /^/?once was from his : but (ha! 
at all times find grace and mercy ro help us a 
the time of needn t is a comfortable Poinr. Min 
anger is turned aw ay fi om him. 

But it may be laid, How i s Godsangerfurnec 
away from his children, when they feele it ofc 
times after in the courfe of their lives. 


Ibe Returning Back/lider< 


The Anfwcr is, that there is a double Anger 

of God, whereby we nuift judge of things, for 

cither it is 

x" AW per 

2. Fatherly J 

God after our firft converfion, heremooveth 

times he threaten and frowncuponus, yet itis 
with a Fatherly anger : which God alfo removes 
with the {hameand corrcdion attending it,\v hen 
wee reforme and amend our wicked wa^es 

There is 

i. ^A Child of Anger. 



How anger felt 
may yet be ftu 
to be removed. 

2. si ^vutUw/tM <S 

Gods Children are never children of wrath 
and aneer,after their firft converfion ; but fomc- 
times children under wrath, if they make bold 
I with finne, foas they cannot ufe their righto eoboldly to the throne ofgrace be 
caufe then, (though they Have the right of fons 
they conceive of God, as angry with them- and 
cannot ufe it fo long as they live in any 
againft conference, and fo continue, until they 
reforme and humble thcmfelves (as the Church 
doth here) after which they can and doere- 
joyce acaine, claime their right, and are 
either children ofwrath, orunderwrath. t>vt* 
after he had finned that foule finne, was a child 
under wrath, not a child of wnth. So 
make bold to finne,we are children under wrath: 
for oft-times God begins correaion at rus 
owne houfe, it there be any dilordef there. 




Num. to. i 2* 
2 Sam. 24* i. 
I Cor. 1 1.30. 



affl ftions arc 

j&a^ h thy 

The Returning Btckjltder. 

You know God was fo angry with (JWcfes, that 
he was not fuffered to enter into the land of Ct- 
naan. And Z>di//Wwhen he had numbred the 
people, God was angry with him, and with 
the Corintkiavszlfo, for unreverent receiving of 
the Lords- fuppcr. But here is a courfe prefcribed 
to remove his father ly anger, and to enjoy the 
beames of his countenance, and Sun-fhine of his 
favour inChrift: if we humble our felves, con- 
fefle our finnes, and fly unto him as the Church 
here doth : then we fliall fiade this madegood : 
F<& mine anger if turned away from him. But it 
may be asked, 

In time s of affl.&ion how may we know Gods 
anger to be remooved 5 when yet we endure 

The Anfwer is, that God is infinitely wife, 
and in one affli&ion hath many ends,as 

1. When he affli<ftsthem,it is to corre<3:them 
for their finnes : after which when they have 
puld out the fling of finne by confelfionand hu 
miliation, if afflidions continue, his anger doth 
not continue. 

2. Afflidlion fometimes is for an exercife of 
Patience and Faith, and tryall- of their graces; 
and for the exemplarie manifeftation to others 
of Gods Goodncfle tothem. 

But even then they may know that things 
come not in anger unto them, by this, that after 
Repentance God fpeakes peace unto their con- 
fcience; fothat,thoughthe grievance continue, 
it is with much joy in the Holy Ghoft 5 and peace 


The Returning Back/Iider* 

of conference, inwhichcafe, the fouleknowes 
that it is for other ends that God continues ic. 
Therefore the fit ft thing in any affii<fiion is to 
remoove away the coare and fting thereof by 
humbling our felves, as the Church here doth. 
After which our confciences will be at peace 
for other things. God hath many ends incor- 
re&irg us : he will humble us, improove our 
afflictions to the good of others ; and will gaine 
himfelfe honour by our affti&ions/uflferings and 
crofles. When God hath (lied abroad his love 
inourhearts by his Spirir, then we can rejoyce 
in tribulation, and re Joyce under hope, though 
the affl dionscofltinucjbecaufc the fling isgone, 
anger is re moo ved. 

For mine anger is turned away from him. 

Thelaft Point we obferve from hence, and 
gather fiom all thefe getrerall truths is this, 

Where there u not humiliation for Jlnne y And 
hearty prayer to God, with r e formation of cur w ayes, 
flying unto God for mercy ( who is mercifull to the 
Fat herleffe ) there Gods ivrath continues . 

For as where they are performed, his anger 
is turned away : fo muft it needs follow,- that 
where they are no performed, his anger con- 
tinueth. Therefore, let useximineourfelvcs 5 
The Spirit of God here fpeakes of failing hack 
(liftings, ard of turning away 1 Equity ; let us 
lookewclltoourfelves;. and totheprefentftate 
of things^atourdifeafesbe foundly cured, our 
perfonall difeafes> and then let us be fcnfible 
of the difeafesof the land^and pray for thcm^for 





The Returning Backjlider. 


i Cor.j.i. 

tlof 13.1. 

there are uaivcrfall difeafesand finnesofaking. 
dome as well as perfonall. And we are guilty 
of the finnes of the times, asfarreas we are not 
humbled for them. Paultels thofe who did not 
pueifh the inceftuous perfon, Why art yee not 
humbled rather for this deed ? Where there is a 
publike difeafe,, there is a publike anger hang 
ing over upon that difeafe, thecure whereof is 
hereprdcribed: to be humbled asforourfeives 
fofor others. Therefore let us be ware of finne, 
if we would fhun wrath ? efpccially of Idolatry, 
ofels we fhall be fure to fmart for it, as Epkraim 
did, of whom the Spirit of God faith : When 
Ephraim fyake trembling ; he exalted himfelft^ 
in Ifrael : but when he offended in Baal he dyed. 
Efhraim had got fuch authority, what with his 
former victories? and by the fignes of Gods 
favour among them, that when hefpake, there 
was trembling, and he exalted himfelfe inlfrael. 
But when he $ff ended wee inBaal^ that is, when 
he became an Idolater^^ dyed. It is meant of the 
civill death cfpeclally; that he loft his former 
credit and reputation. We fee then the dan 
gerous effcdts of finne, efpecially of Idolatrie, 
wherfore let us f ortifie our fel ves againft it : and 
blefle God that we live under fuch agratious, 
juft, and milde King, and good governemenf, 
where there are fuch lawesagainft this great fin 
efpecially ; and befeech God long to continue 
his life and profpcrity for our good amongft us v 
For Ufc then* 

Remember when we are to dealewith God, 


7 he Returning Backflider* 

that Ije is the great moover of all things, who 
if he be angry; can ovcrturnc all things, and 
croffe us infill things: and canalfo healc us of 
all our difenfcs. But what muft we doe if we 
would be healed? Wee muft take the courfc 
prescribed here. Take twto us words, humble 
our felves, and have no confidence in 
munition, people 5 or in the worke of cur 
but truft in God, fo ftell we be happy and blef- 
fed. Wharfoever our enemies be 5 yet if we 
can make God our rock, forrjeflfc and fliiejd, 
then it is no matter who be our enemies. jfhce \ Rom. 8 3 
be on our fide, who can be againft ut ? Let us all 
(Miniftmand all) reforme our felves, and 
{land in the gap, sfcer the courfe here prefcri 
bed : and goe to God in aright manner, fa we 
may dh fipate all the clouds of anger which 
may fteme to hang over our heads, and finde 
God experimentally making thispromifegocd 
tons, which he made then to his people: I will 
hula their backsliding, 1 will love t hew freely, for 
mine singer is turned way from Inm. 

Therefore let us doe as lAtcob did with Efarv, 

when he came incenfcd with mighty difpiea- 

I fjre ?gainft his brother. Ujcob comes before ]ocn 

I him humbly, proftrates himfclfe before him, 

I and (o turner away his arger. So when God is 

I angry with us, and comes againft us, let us hum- 

ble our fclves before him," to nppeale him : as 

^/ihigatt quieted David by humbling her ftlfe 

\ before him, when he hadapurpofctodcftroy 

her family. S3 Ice us come before God in hu- 



, SaaljlJ 

The Returning Backjlidcr. 



mility of foule, and God will turne away his 
anger. As when there was a great plague begun 
in thcarmie, Amrw flood with his ccnfer betwixc 
the living and the dead, offering incenfe and 
making attonement for them,wherby the plague 
was flayed. So in any wrath felt or feared/or our 
fclves, or the ftatc we live in : let every one hold 
his cenfure, and offer the incenfe of prayer 5 Take 
with you words. God iswondroufly mooved to 
pitty, by the incenfe ofthefefweet .odours of 
fered up by Chrift unto the Father, beleeveir, it 
is the onely fafe courfe to begin in Heaven, fuch 
a beginning will have a blefled ending, other 
courfes, politfque and fubordinafe helps muft 
alfo be takcn^ but all is to no purpofe unlefTe we 
begin in Heaven: becaufe all things under God 
are ruled and mooved by him $ who when hee 
is favourable, makes all the creatures pliable 
unto us; butefpecially makes this good $ Iwitl 
beetle their backjliding, I will hve them 
freely, for mine Anger is turned 
away jrom them. 

Tbt tftd ofthefixt Sermon. 





Hos, 14. j. 

as the Dew unto Jfrael : bcJhdOgrow 
as the LiBie> and call forth bis Roots as 

His branches /ball fereadjwdhitbea&yjballbc 
as the Okie tree-> and hisjmellas Lebanon. 

Church (as we heard ) 
had bcene humbled, and 
therefore is comforted : it 
is ufuall in the Scriptures, 
efpccially in the Propheti 
cal! parts thereof, after ter 
rible threatnings to come 

with fweet promifes : becaufe God in all ages 

, hath a Church. Therefore God iu this Chapter 

1 takes 



iof.g 14, ij 
fa. 1. 1 5,19, 
X tit.} I. 
Icr MI, 


The Returning Bzckjltder. 

1 S E n VLJ takes thiscourfe, he makes gratious promilesto 
this .people, grounded upon the former part of 
j the Chapter, wherein God had didated unto 

; them a forme of Prayer, Repentance and Refor 
mation. Take with you words and ttirrtf tethe Lord > 
fay unto him, takeaway all iniquity, and receive 
us gratiottfly&c. Whereupon a Reformation 
is promifed, ^fhurtydiwtfowu&wec wm 
not ride ttfon horfes ,frc. Which was a reforma 
tion of that nationall finne which they were 
guilty of, falfe Confdwct. Now ( as we have 
heard) God anfwers them to every particular. 
He makes a gratious j>romife, that he will hsale 
their back jlidtng, accordingto their prayer, Take 
away att iniquity, and to that. Receive us gratiouf- 
ly, he anfwers 5 I will love them freely, fir wine 
anger is turnedaway from him. 

Now it cannot bee but that God flnuld re 
gard the defires of his owne Spirit, when both 
the words and Spirit proceed from him, there 
fore he goes on more fully to anfvver their dc 
fatQidcing good te them : faying, 

/ will be as the Dew tolfradl&c. 

In which words the holy Prophet doth firft 
by a Metaphor and borrowed fpcech fetdowne 
the ground of all happinefTe. So that there is 
heregiven a more full fatisfa&ionto the defires 
of the Church. 

1. The can fe of all, (I will be as the Dew) &c. 

2. Tkepart tcxUr Terfonstowhom: (to lfraell.) 

3. The fruit of this followes : ( he fall grow #s 
theLillie, and cajlfortbhu roots as Lebanon ) 


The Returning Ba&flider. 

Now the words read are a fuller fatisfaaion 
to the defires of Gods people, which were ftir- 
rcd up by his owne Spirit. / will be at the Dew 
wtoljwl, where, 

1. You have fet downe,T^<f c&JiifM, which 
followes : God by his gratiou* Spirit will be as 
the Derv unto ifracL . 

2. And then uponthar,theprofperous fucceffe 
this Dovof Gods Spirit hath in them, They flail 
grow of the L-illie. 

Ibutthej//7growes,but hath no ft ability: 
every thing that growes is not well rooted. 
Therefore^hee adds in the lecond place. They 
fiall cast out their rootes as Lebanon, that is, with 
growth they (hall have ftabilicy : not only grow 
in height fpecdily, but alfo grow fad in the 
roote with firmencfle. 

Andlikewifc, as every thing that growes in 
roote and firmencfle doth not fpread it felfe 3 he 
fayvS he (hall not only grow upward, and take 
roote downe- wards^/tf his branches flail ff reads 
whereby he (hall be more fruitfull and comfor 
table to others. 

O ! but every thing that growes, is roo 
ted and fpread*, is not for all that fruitfull : 
therefore he faith, they (hall be as the olive 
ttce, his beauty (hall be as the olive tree forjruit- 

Yet, though the Olive be fruitful, it hath 
nopleafantfmell, nor goodtafte, therefore he 
adds another bleffing to that: they (hall in re 
gard of their pleafamnefleto Godand man, that 

O (hall 

TlatGod bai h 
a falyejor all 


The Returning BacKflMcr. 

fliall delight in them, be as the fmell of Lebanon. 
Which was a wondrous plea font delightful! 
place, which yeelded a pleafant favour round 
about. So we fee what acomplearekinde of 
growth this is : wherein blefluig upon bleffing 
is promifed, the Holy Ghoft cannot enougl 
fatisfie himfelfe in variety of comfortable ex. 
preffions. Nothing is left unfatisficd that the 
heart can propound. He will make themw^ | 
bt/dfa/tfuitfutl, delightfull, avdflcafat. Sol 
that we have here to confider : 

1. The favour andblefing that he fromifeth, 
to be ss the den to ifrael. 

2 . The excellency 0fit^ in divers particulars. 

3 . The order w her in it 1$ p romifed, 

Before we come to the words themfelves, 
if we remember and read over the former part 
of the Prophefie, we (hall find it full of terrible 
curfes; all oppofitetinto that heere promifed, 
to fliew, 

We can never be in fo difconfilate a ft ate, but 
Godcan alter all. 

He hath a right hand as well asa left; 

/^as well as Curfcs.: Mercy as well as luflice, 
which is more proper to, his nature then that. 
Therefore, let Chriftian foules never be dif- 
couraged with their condition and ftate what- 

For,as there are many maladies, fo -there arc 
many remedies oppofire to them; as Sdomoi. 
faith,T^> i^fetovera S ainflthat^c. If there be, 
athouiand kinds of ils,there are many thoufand ( 
. kiodJ 

The "Returning Back/liefer. 

kindes of remedies. For, God is larger in his 
helpcs, then we can be in our difeafcs and di- 
ftrcffts, whatfocver they are : Therfore it is 
good to make this Ufe of it. To be fo concei 
ted of God as may draw us nearer unto him 
upon all occafions. 

Againe, We fee here; how large the Spirit 
of God is in exprcflions of uhe particulars : / 

llbzM the Dew unto ifraelj and he /J)*ll grow 

the Lilly : and caft forth his rortes a<s Lebanon : 
bit branches frail fyread, and hi* beauty be larger, 
&c. Whereunto tends all this largeneile of 
expreffion? God doth it in mercy unto us, 
who efpecially need it, being in a diftrefTed, 
difco:ifolate eftate. Therefore they are not 
words waftfullyfpenc; wcmaymarvell fome- 
times in 7/4/^,and fo in fome other Prophcts,to 
fee the fame things in fubftance fo often repea 
ted, though with variety of lively cxprcffions, 
asuis (forthemoft part) the manner of every 
Prophet. Surely, becaufe it is ufefull and pro 
fitable, the people of God need it. There is 
nor never was any man in a drouping finking 
condition,, but heedcfiresline upon line^word 
upon word, promifcupon promife, cxpreiTion 
upon exprcffion. 

One \vouldttrinke y is mt 4 wordofGod frffcieM? 
.Yes, for him, but not for us; we have doub 
ting and drouping hears, and therefore God 
adds Sacraments and Seales, not onely one Sa 
cramenr, buttwo; And in the Sacrament, not 
onely Bread, but Wine alfo: to fhcvv that 

O 2 Chrift 






The Returning Backflider. 

Chrift is all in all. What large expreflions are 
here thinks a prophane heart, what needs this. 
As if God knew us-not better then we know our 
felves. Whenfoever thou art touched in confer 
ence with the fence ofthyfinnes, and knoweft 
how great, how powcrfull, how Holy a God 
thou haft to deale \vith, whocan indurenoim- 
pure thing, thou wilt never find fault with his 
large expreflions in his Word and Sacraments 5 
and with the variety of his promifes, when hee 
tranflates out of the book of nature into his own 
booke, all expreflions of excellent things to 
fpread forth his mercy and love. Is this need- 
lefle > No, we need all, he that made us, redee 
med us,preferves us, knowes us better then we 
ourfelves, hewhois infinite in wifedomeand 
love,takesthis courfe. 

And marke againe in the next place, how the 
Holy Ghoft fctcheth here this comfort from 
things that are moft excellent in their kinde. 
They jialt-grow MtheLillie, that growes fiireli 
andfpeedily : And they /hall take rootc as Leba 
non; to fhcw that a Chriftian fhould be the ex- 
cellenteft in his kinde, hecomparcs him in his 
right temper and ftate, to the moft excellent 
things in nature. To the Sunne^ to Lions* Trees 
tf Lebanon .Cedars, and olive Trees far fruirfull- 
ndTe: and all to (hew, that a Chriftian (hould 
notbeao ordinary man. All the excellences 
of nature are little enough to fetout the excel 
lency of a Chriftian 5 he muft bc an extraordi 
nary fingular man. Saith Chrift, Whatfmguhr 

The Returning Backflicter. ipj> 

tbingdoyec? Hemuft not be a common man. 
Therefore, when God would raife his people, 
hce tcls them, they fhould not bee common 
men, bat grow as Lillks, be rooted as Trees, 
fruirfull as olives, and pleafant bcautifull, as 
the goodly fweet-fmelling trees of Libantts. 
Howgratioufly doth God condefcend unto us, 
to teach us by outward things, how 4:0 helpe 
ourfoulesby our fenfes ; that when we fee the 
growth, fruitfullnefle, and fweetneffe of other 
things we fhould call to mind what we fhould 
be, and what God hath proaaifed we fhall be, 
ifwetake this courfe and order formerly pre- 
fcribed. Indeed a wife Chriftian indowed 
with the Spirit of God, exu-afts a quintcffence 
out of every thing^efpecially from thofe that 
God fingles out to teach him his duty by, when 
he looks upon any plant, fruite, or tree that is 
pleafant, delightfullandfruitfull, it fhould put 
him in mind of his duty. 

/ mS be as the dew U ifrael, &c. 

Thcfe fwect promifes in their order follow 
immediately upon this, that God would freely 
love them, and ccafe to be angry with them: 
then he adds the fruits of his love to their foules, 
and the effeSs of thofe fruits in many particu- 
lars,wbence firft of all we obfcrve, 

Cods love is a fruit fM love. 

Wherefoever he loves, he makes the things 

lovely : We fee things lovely,and then we love 

them: but God fo loves us, that in loving us he 

makes us lovely. So faith God by the Prophet. 

o 3 * 



;Jfa 5 


Returning Backfltder. 

hwefeenehiswayes and will heale him: I will 
eadkim alfo and rcjtort comforts unto him > And to 
is mourners . And from this experience of the 
ruitfullnefle of Gods love s the Church is 
>rought in rejoycing. Iwitt greatly iejoyceinthe^> 
.ord> myfoule fiatt be joy full in my God : for he 
ath cloathed me with the gw went* of falvatioyi^ 
heehtfh covered me with the robe of righteoufnejfe : 
as a bndegroome decketh himjdfe with ornament s> 
as a bride adorneth her felfe with her jewels. 
Thus he makes us fuch as may be amicable 
objects of his love, that he may delight in. 

For his love is the love, as of a gratious fo of 
apowerfull God, that can alter all things to us, 
and us to all things j he can bring us good out of 
every thing > and doe us good at all times, 
according to the Churches Prayer : Doe good 
u.nto w. 

Wherefore feeing God can doe us good>and 
fince his love is not oncly a pardoning love, to 
takeaway his anger 5 but alfo fo compleat and 
fruitfull a love, fo fuliof fpirituall favours: / 
will be its the dew unto ifrael: and he /hall grow 
up as the Lilly } &c. Let us ftand more upon 
Gods love then we have formerly done, and 
ftrive to have our hearts inflamed with love to 
wards God ag.aine. As the Prophet David 
doth : 7 love the Lord, becaufe he hath heard 
my. vvyce* and my (applications. It may be for 
outward condition, that even where God loves 
they may gos -backewards fo and fo: but for 
their bcft part their foules, God will be as the 


- \ 


ing Backflider. 

^:rv to them^ and they flail grow as Lebanon* 
God will be good to them in the beft things. 
And a Chriftian when he begins to know what 
the beft things are concerning a better life : 
he then learneth to valcw fpirituall bleflings 
and favours above all other whatfoever. Ther- 
fore God fiuts his promifcs to the dcfires of 
his children ; that he would water their dry 
..ulcs, that he would be as the dew unto them. 
Gods love is a fruitfull love, and fruitfull in 
the beft things. A c > we know what David faith: 
[There be many who (liy, who will fherv u* any govd, 
\Lord lift thou up the light of thy Countenance 
upon its. Thou haft put gladne fie in my heart ^mere 
then in the time that their corne , and their 
wine increafed. So God firs his gratious pro- 
mife anfwerable to the defires of a gratious 


/ if ill be at the Dew to Ifrael. 
To come to the words in particular, for this 
is the ground of all thatfollowcs, Iwill bewthe 
dew unto Ifrtd. 

How will God be as the D:w to Ifraell i 
This is efpecially meant of and performed 
to the Church under the New Teftament, efpe 
cially nex* unto Chriftstime^vhen the Dew of 
a r acc fell in greatcft aboundance upon the 
Church. The Comfortable 5 SandVifying,Frait- 
full Grace of God is compared wDervm many 


Firft, The Dew do:h come from above. God 
fencfs it, it drops from above and cannot bee 
O 4 commanded 


ciet o] Dew in 

divert partial 


An fa. 

W\.y the Grue 
o GoJ h com 
pared to 2>e 


Beeau e it 
comes f ret ty 






The Returning Backflider* 


ommandcd by the creature. So all other gifts 
and cfpecially this perfeft gift, the Grace o; 
d, comes from above, from the Father o 
ights : there is no principle of grace naturally 
within a man. It is as childifh to thinke that grac 
comes from any principle within us,as tothink 
that the dew which fals upon a ftoneis the fwea 
of the ftone : As children thinke that the flon 
fw eats, when it is the dew -that s fallen upon it. 
Certainly our hearts in regard of themfelves are 
barren and dry : wherfore Gods Grace^in regard j 
of the Originally is compared to Dew, which 
fliould teach us to go to God,astheGhurch doth 
here,and pray him to deal? gratioufly with us 3 to 
do good to us, for this caufe laying open our 
foulcs unto him, to (bed his Grace into them. 

Thtrdly/T/^Dm doth fall Ivfenfibly and In- 
vifibly. So the grace of God, wee feele the 
comfoit, fweeindfc and operation of ir, but 
fa fals infcnfibly without obfervation. Inferiour 
ihings hcere fetle the fweet and comfortable 
influence of the Heavens^ but who fees the a- 
dive influence upon them, which how it is de 
rived from fuperiotir bodies to the inferiour 
is not obfervable . As our Saviour fpeaks of the 
beginnings of grace and workings of if. Thz^ 
winde bloweth where it lifteth^vd ilmi heareft the^j 
found thereof, butCAnjlnot tellwkcnceit commeih, 
or whether it goeth : fo isci try one that : born^> 
of the Spirit. It workes we know not how : we 
feele the wcrke, but the manner of workirg 
isunknowne to us. Grace therefore is wrought 


The Returning Backjhder. 

undifccrnably. No man can fee the convcr- 
fion of another, nay, no man almoft can dif- 
cerne his owne converfion at firft 5 Therefore 
thisQjeftion fhould notmuchtroubleyoujfhew 
us the firft houre, the firft time of your conver 
fion and entrance into the ftate of grace. Grace 
( to many ) fals like the dew, by little and 
little, drop and drop, line upon line, it fals 
fweetly and undifccrnably upon them at the 
firft. Therefore, ic is hard to fet downe the 
firft time,feeing as our bleffed Saviour fpeakes, 
grace at the firft is wondrous little, likened to 
a graine of Muftard- feed. But though it be fmall 
at firft ; yet nothing is more glorious and beauti- 
lill afterwards, for from afmallfeed, it grows 
o over-fpread and bee great, fhooting out 
Branches. And as the root of leffi was a de- 
pifed ftock and in fliewa dead root, yet thence 
thrift rofe, a branch as high as Heaven. So 
he beginning of a Chriftian , is defpifed 
nd little, like a dead ftocke as it were, but 
hey grow upward and upward ftill, till they 
come to Heaven it felfe. Thus we fee there is 
nothing in the world more undifcernable in the 
ginning then the worke of grace 3 which muft 
make us not over^curious to examine cxidly 
the firft beginnings thereof, becaufe it is as the 
i falling of the Dew or the blowing of the ir/Wo* 
Ag^in,asit fals unciifcernably and invifibly, 
hveryfacctly and mildly, notvio!ating the na 
ture or courfeof any thing, but rachcrhelping 
[ and chcrifliing the fame>or if it make any change 


Pro. 4% 18, 

fiveetiy and 
iKtl lly upon the 
fou e. 



in any thing, it doth it mildly and gently.So 

The Returning Back/litter. 

fualiy (unlefTe it be in fome extraordinary cafe) 
God workes upon the feule by his grace mild- 
y and fweetly : Grace works fweetly upon 
he foule, preserving its freedome, fb as man 
when he begins to be good fhall be freely good 
Torn inward principles wrought in him. His 
udgemetit fliall like the courfe he rakes, and 
)ecleaneoppofite to others that are contrary, 
torn an inward principle, as free now in altering 
lis courfe as formerly he was in following the 
other. There is no violence but in regard of 
corruption. God works ftrongly and mildly $ 
ftrongly for he changeth a ftone into a flefliy 
heart,and yet fweetly, he.breakes not any power 
ofnature,butadvancethit: for grace doth not 
take away or imprifon nature, but lift it up and 
fct it at liberty : for ir makes the will ftronger 
and freer,the judgement founder, the underftan- 
ding cleerer, the affe&ions more orderly, it 
makes all things better, fo that no violence is of- i 
fered to nature. 

Again,Grace is compared to Dew>Inregardof\ 
the operations of Dew. For what effe&s hath Dew i 
upon the earth ? Firft, ircooles the ay re when 
it fals, and then wi*h coolenefTe it hath a fru&i- 
fying veitue : for falling efpecially on tender 
heatbs and plants, it foakes into the root of 
them, and makes them fruitful!. So it is with 
he grace of Gods Spirit, ir coolcs the foule 
, fcorched with the fenfe of Gods Anger, as 
1 indeed all our fouleswillbc (when we have to 


The Returning Back/licter. 

deale with God who is a cottfumtng frc) till we 
take that courfe to looke upon him in Chrif 
for the pardon of finnc : after which his Grac 
and the fenfe of it cooletb, aflvvagcth anc 
fpcakes peace to an uncomfortable , difconfo 
lare heart. This voice, Sonnc be of good comfort 
thy fins are forgiven thet, O ! this hath a coo 
ling in it: andthisalfo. This day/halt thou, < 
yith mein Par dice ,O ! how it cooled and cheerec 
the good thcefe, and comforted him. And fo 
when God (ayes unto the foule, / am thy falva- 
tion, O ! when the foule fcclcs this, how is it 
cooled and refreflied ? 

And the foule is not onely cooled and re 
freflied, but;// is al(o fivestned and made fruit full 
with comfort to the foule. If we were to fee a man 
in the pangs of confcience , ftung with fiery 
temptations, as with fo many fiery forporsand 
poyfoned darts,which drinkeup the fpims, and 
prcfents Goa a confuming fire,and hell beneath 
fullofinfupportable torments fet on by the in- 
fupportable wrath of God:then we fho ild know 
what ic were to have grace in this cfficatious 
manner,cooling and refrefbing the foul that ha* h 
thefcfi.ry darts ftucke i.uo it of violent flrong 
temptations,whichtothcprefent ftnfe, are the 
hes and beginnings of Hell. O ! It is an excel 
lent thing to hive the Grace of God in fuch a 
cafcfoaffwageandcoole the maladies of a di- 
(hcffed foule, which for the prefent fecmcs to 
burninafl.imeofwra:h. Asitcooles, foalfo it 
makes the heart fruitful 5 our hcaus of themiclves 
^ being 

Grace life de 
u a cooler. 


Grace fruffifi* 
ctb as dttv doth. 

Philem. 16. 


Grace u unre- 

lob 38.37; 

the Returning Backjlider. 



o malice hinder the meanes of ir 
the gmious workin of th. S 

The Returning Backjlider. 

can hinder where God will have the dew and 
water and fhinc of the influence of grace worke, 
nothing in the world can ftop it. So it is faid 
in that excellent Prophefieof Chrift, and his 
Kingdome. He /ball come downe like rainc *p- 
on the mowen qraffc : as flowers that water the 
Earth, which as they code and frutttfe, fo com 

they unreftfttbly. 

Let none therefore be difcouraged with the 
deadneflc, drinefle, and barrenndfe of their 
owne hearts: but let them know that God doth 
gratioufly promife (if they will take thecourie 
formerly let downej to be,<# the dew unto them. 
Therefore let them come unto the Ordinances 
of God with wondrous hope, confidence and 
faith that he will be as dew unto them, that fee 
ing he hath appointed variety of Ordinances 5 
the Word and Sacraments, he willbleflethofe 
mearesofhis owne ordaining and appointing, 
for his owne ends. He that hath gratioufly ap 
pointed fuchmeanesof grace, will he not hleffc 
them ? efpccially having promifed ; I will be** 
the dtw unto 1 frail. Therefore let us attend up 
on the Ordinances, and notkcepe away though 
our hearts be barren, drie and unfruitful! : God 
is above the heart, and able to turne the wil 
der ncffe into a fruitful! place : he can make the 
heart a fit habitation for himfelfe to dwell in. 
Let usby faith attend upfln the Ordinances, if 
, we find not comfort in one Ordinance,let us go 
I unro another, and another, comfort and hclpe 
I flialkomc,, if with the Church, we 


ragewent in re \ 
gar 4 of oar bar- \ 
rennes iugood-^ 
ne/e. . 

C ant. 3. 4- 


SB A. VI] 

Tie order of 

Returning Backjlider. 

Butmarke the order wherein face makes this 
rnile Firft, he gives grace to pray 

of re- 


doe good to us. Then hee gives a 
formation, promifing amendment, 
this followcth, that be W 

S HSf- And bee 
//r/ He wipe as the dew unto Ifrael, but 
-he wiHgiye them grace firft to be humble? 
confeflc finne and pray to God for grace and 
forgivenefle, Thereis an order of work 
the bule: God g iv , th J uftification ^g 
dification, and before he freeth from the 
of finnc ,hc : g,ves grace to confeffc 

J. .Whcrethefegoe before, grace wi? o l 
low : and where the^y doe nor, thae wH be no 

o?dfr for where 7 Cf re " "* Con/?dcr l ^ 

and heales their fouTeIinregar?oTthe J gXof 
tharfinnes : unto thofe he will bcasdcw T c , 
fore if W e have fiill barren foul f without dt 
fires or ftrength to goodneffet 
imnes are ftillupon the file, for 
never without holinefle of life : 

Chrift, be is anew creKure. WhenthU 
f* A *fi i_ / iivn Liii.? 15 cionc* 

od WilJ be a* the dew : becaufe he doth pardon 
ourfinncsforthtscaufe, that hee may the eby 
fitustobeearertainedinrhe covenant, and are 



The Returning Backflider. 

we fie to bee in covenant with him untill our na 
tures be altered t Therfore whenfoever he en- 
tcrs into covenant with any, heechangeih their 
natures, that they may bee friends, and have 
communion with him. Then the fame foule 
which cry cihjake away all i&tqwty : ddirechal- 
fothe^0/r^tomakeit better; this order 
is not onely nc-ceflary on Gods part, but in re- 
gard of the foule alfo. For was there eve^any 
Ibule from the beginning of the world that 
truely defired forgiveneflfe of finnes, which did 
not allo therewith defire grace? fuch a foule 
were but an hypocriticall foule. For if it, bee 
rightly touched wich forrow, ic dcfiresas well 
ability to iubduefinne, as for^iveneffeoffinne: 
hlolineffe and Righteoufntffc with forgive- 

Therefore lead wee deceive our felves, let 

his be an tife of tryall from the order 5 that if we 

Inde not grace wrought in our natures to re- 

traine finne, and alter our former lewd coiirfes, 

our* finnes are not yet forgiven. For, wherefo- 

ever God takes away (inne, and loves freely : 

here aifo he gives the beft fruits of his love, be- 

towes the dew of his grace to worke upon and 

alter our natures. Chrift came not by blood 

lone to die for us, but by water aliotu fandifie 

is. He will not onely love freely ; but he will | 

>e^5^^^^where he loves freely: therefore 

fwehavenotfan&ifying grace, wee havener 

as yet pardoning grace. For, we know the 

Prophet joy nes them both together: BlefeJ is 



e i 

a. VII., 

The Returning Backflidtr. 

he man unto whom the Lordiinputeth not iniquity, 
ndin whefe ffirit there is no guile. If we rctaine a 
guileful 1 falfe fpirit,our fins are not forgiven, we 
ee both thefe are put together. 

And feeing all thefe good things come from 
God, itisneceflary to take notice of what hath 
:>eenefaid of Gods goodnefife, tha: we doe not 
rob God of his due glory, nor our felves of the 
due comfort that we may draw thence. The 
Egyptians had the river Nylu* that overflowec 
he land every yeere, caufed by anniverfary 
winds, which fo blew into the mouth of the ri 
ver, that it could not difcharge it felfc intortie 
r ea: whereupon it over flowed the bankes, anc 
[eft a fruitfull (lime upon the ground, fo that 
they needed not raine as other Countries, be- 
caufcit was watered with Nylw. Hereupon 
they did net depend upon Gods blefling, no 
were fo holy as they fhould : but were proud o 
their river, as is intimated by (JMefesunto th 
people. But the land whether thottgoejt in to fof 
effeit, isnot M the la#d of Egypt, from whence ye 
came ou}, where thoit foweft thy feed y andwateredft 
it with thy foot, as a garden ofherbes : Btit the lanefi 
whether yee goeto foffijje it, is a I and of hills and 
llieSjand drinke^h water of the raine of heaven : 
a land which the Lord thy God carethfor-,&c. They 
having more immediately raine from Heaven, 
faw Gods hand in watering it, whereas the 
Egyptians did not. And what makes a Papist 
to be fo unthankful^ He thinkes he can with 
his owneinduftiy water his owne ground with 


The Returning Back/liefer. 

fomcwhat in himfclfe. What makes another 
man thankfull on the other fide? Becaufe he 
knoweth hee hath all things by dependance 
from the firftcaufe: for ns in nature, in God we 
live, move and ha<vc our being : much more in 
grace; we have all our nourifhmcnt, fpirkuall 
being, mooving and life from the Jew of Hea 
ven : all our heat is from the Sonne ofRigbte- 
oiifnejft, which makes a Chriftian life, to be no 
thing elfe but a gratious dependance. lean dee 
\ all things (faith Saint Paul) big and great words* 
I O ! but it is, through Ckrijtthatjtrengthea* mz^>. 
Thefe things muft not be forgotten, fora child 
ofthc Church, isachild of grace, bygracehe 
is what he is, he hath all from Heaven. Suita 
ble to the former place is that in Ezekiel. ^ 
the land ofJEgypt /ball he defolate And wafte, and 
they flail know that I am the Lord, bccaufe hee^> 
hath fad, the rivsr is mine>andlha<veM<iJeit. He 
(hall be defolate, becaufc he boafts and brags 
of his river, and depends not upon God far the 
fweet (bowers of the former and the latter raine : 
theyboafted bccaufcitwas a fat fruitfull coun- 
trie, which the Romans called their granary. 
But we muft lookefor all from Heave^ God by 
his Spirit will be ns r hedew. 

You know in Paradife there were foure rivers 
that watred the garden of God, rhatf.veet place, 
and made itfruitfull; but the heads of all thefe 

r -r^ t f> 

rivers were out of P^radice. So it is wrh the 
Church of God, There is A River, the flreames 
whereof nukes glad the Chic of God (as the Pfal- 

P mift 



That tie leaj] 


The Returning Backfltder. 



./<? /<**- 
our na 

tures , 

miftfpeake) many pretious comfortable gra 
ces (the particulars whereof follow) but where 
is the hcad-fpring of that river t it is in Heaven. 
We have all from God, through Chriftthc 
<JMediat$r : So though we have of the Water. 
and Dtw> yet notwithstanding the head and 
fpring of all is from without the Church, in 
Heaven^ in Christ, in the <JMediator. And 
therefore in all the excellent things we enjoy 
in the Church, let us lo ke to the Originall firft 
caufe,- Chrift by his Spirit, He is a* the Dew 
to his Ckwch* 

This affoords like wife an Vfe of Direction, 
How to come to have grace to fandlifie and alter 
our natures? Doe as the Church doth heere 5 
defire it of God. Lord teach me to fee and 
know my finnes: Lord, Take away all iniquity, 
and receive me gratiottfly : Heale my foule for I 
have finned againft thee. O love nice freely, 
Turne away thy angry face from my finnes, 
and be as the dew unto my barren foule y my 
dead foule, O quicken ic, make good thy pro- 
mi fe, come fwifdy, come fpeedily, comcun- 
refiftably, like raine upon the mowen grajfi$ a 
fhowers, to water with the dew of grace, anc 
frndifie my drie parched foule. Thpsweftoulc 
be earneft with God for grace for our felves 
and for the Churches abroad, for our Church 
and State at home. Therefore let fuch an Life be 
made of it generally, as God and not othei 
forraignc helps may efpecially bee tr uftcd in 
forilistheonely w^} to defiraflion, to lee Goc 


The Returti&g Backflidcr. 

alone, and totruftrothis body, and that body, 
for in this cafe (many times) God makes thofe 
we thus truft in our deftru&ion, as the Ajjyrians 
and Babylonians were the mine of the ten Tribes. 
BJt begin alwayesfirft in Heaven, (et that great 
whtelc a working, and he will make all things 
comfortable, especially for our foulcs : then we 
fhillnot only find him to make goad this pro- 
mife, / will be a* the Dew unto Ifracll : but the 
refidue which follow after. 

itcjkattgrow i*f the Li/t/e^&c 
Thofe unto whom God is Dew, a double 
bk fling, he will make them grow, and fo grow 
as they (lull grow up as the Li Hie : Thirties 
and nettles, and ill weed? grow apacealfo, but 
not as Lillies; but Gods children are Lill/es,md 
then they grow as LiHies. 

How doe Chriftians grow like Lilties ? 
Firft>/0r beauty and glory. There is fuch a kind 
of glory and beauty in that plant, that it is faid 
by our Saviour, That Salomon in all his royalty 
was not arrajedlike one ofthefe> becaufc his was a 
borrowed glory from the creature,but the Lillie .....# 
harh a native beauty of its owne. I bsau y 

Againe, the Lillie hath afreet and fragrant 
faell, fo haveChriflians, a fwcctncflcandfhi- 
ning expvcft in thcirconvcrfationjas we havcita 
little aher.ffisfmelljball be M Lehwon^&c. 

And hen ag.iine, in regard of furtty and 
wktevejfe : So Chriftians are pure and unfpot- 
tcd in their conversion, and their aime ispu- , 
rity and UnfpottedneiTe: whiteneflc betokens I 

P 2 

An fa 





The Returning Backfliden 


In regard, of 


The fr/tjp 

of the 

an unftained converfation. So the people and 
childrenot God 5 they are Lillies, beaiuifull and 
glorious in the eyes of God,and of all thofe who 
have fpirituall eyes, to difcernewharfpirituall 
excellency is:howfoever in regard of the world 
their life be hidden. Their excellency is vailed 
with infirmities, affli&ions and difgracesby the 
malignant Church : yet in Gods efteerne. and 
in the efteeme of his children they are LilHes ; 
all the dirt in the world caft upon a pearlc, 
cannot alter the nature of it: So, though the 
world goe about to befmeere thefe. Lillies 
with falfe imputations, yet they are Lillies 
ftill, and have a glory upon them; for they 
have a better fpirit and nature then the world 
hath. And they are fvveeter in their convcrfarion 
then the world5 for when they have begun to be 
Chriflians, they fweeten their fpeeches and 
difcourfes. There is no Chriftian who is not of 
a fweet converfation,fo farre as grace hath alte 
red him, he is beautiful], lovely and fweer, anc 
hath the whiteneife of fincerity. 

Now as Gods children are Lillies, and then 
grow as Lillies for fweet-nefle, glory and beau 
ty : fothey are like Lillies efpecially, inregarc 
of fuddaine growth. When God gives a blef- 
fing, there is a ftrange growth on a fuddaine, a 
it is obferved of this plan", that it growes very 
much in a night 5 So Gods children, when his 
4J bleffing is upon them, they thrive marvelloufl) 

the dew of grace fell in our Saviours time upon 


The Returning Backflider. 

the Ghriftiun world, what a world of Lillics 
grewfucldenly. Three thoufand in one day, at 
one Sermon, converted by Peter : The King- 
dome of Heaven fuffered violence in lohnBap- 
tijls time, that is, the people thronged after the 
mcanes ofgrace, and offered a holy violence to 
the things of God. So when this dew of grace 
fell, it was prophecied of it, The youth of thy 
wombe (faith \\t) ft &ti be M the morning dew. The 
Dew comes out of r.he wombeofthe morning, 
for the morning begets ir. Thy youth ftaU he as 
tht dew of the morning -that is, they fhall come in 
great abundance, as we fee it fell out in thefirft 
fpring of the Gofpell. In the fpace of forty 
yeares by the preaching of the Apoftles, what 
adeale of good was done through a great part 
of the world: How did the Gofpell thenbreake 
out like lightning by meanes of that bleffed 
Apoftle ?<*///, who himfclfe carried it through a 
great part of the world. 

And now in the fecond fpring of the Gof 
pell, when Luther began to preach : in the 
period of a few yeares, how many Countries 
were converted and turned to the Gofpell ? 
Scotland, SttrtMaflJ, Denm^rkc^ the 
, a great part of France, Bohemia and 
of the Netherlands. How many Lillfes grew up 
here on a fuddaine? Sudden growths are fuf- 
pedled, and well they may be, but when God 
will blelle, in a. flicrr fpace a great deale of 
workc dull be done. For God" is nor tied to 
length of time. H. a c makes water to be wine 
P^j every 

AttJ t. 4I . 

Tie fecond 

$ri*%of the 
Gojpett KM 

The Returning 

Rorn.i i - 

- -T-.-.- J ----- 

SE R .VU. Very rc e 

water of Heaven into the juyce of the crape 1 
there is water, turned into wine, rfiaTddne in 
twaoftime, wnich he can doein a flioitertime 
ashe didin theGofpell. /^. 1;&c , W Q 
is the difference -r that he did rhat miraouloufly 
iqaftoittimc, whjch he ufbally cffirds in co2 
tmuarcc of time. So now manytinvs hedotfi 
great matters maftorct!ic,tbar his power rmv 
be knownc and fcene the more : as wee 4 
now in thefe warres ofCer^y, how quic y y 
God hath turned his hand to hdpe his Church 
and h,(Te for a dcfpifed forg 

er of the 

: and hee can doe fo ftil] 
n tlSur 

f l ""n 

and behold the falvanon of the Lord, we 

fee great matters effcded in a little time. 

r , there 

be bleflcd times approaching, wherein when 
the Terns are converted, They 


wtf//f cornrninp 

o> "t, -****, "^vmiLuinifnent 

of we expcdt, to the rejoycing of otlr h 
tha they frnuld at length P rcove indeed 
us the true children of^t\iba>a 

Therefore, we ftould make this ; /? f all 
labour that the D^ fGod, may p/oove?he 
^v of Grace, that God would maki m S 

we would be beautiful] , n d P i orio ,^ h ^ 

c^ 5 * * 


The Returning Backslider. 

aluftreuponus, and be as much beyond others 

as pearlcs are beyond common (tones, and 
Lillies are better then Tlomcs and Briers, let 
us labour to have the Grace of God, foto be 
accounted Lillies, whatfoevcr the world ac 
counts of us. 

Againe, if the worke be wrought upon us, 
though the imputations of the world beother- 
I wife, Ictus comfort our felvcs: God accounts 
i-me a Lillie: fee this againft the bafe cfteeme 
of the world, confidering how God judgeth, 
and thofe who are led by his Spirit, u ho judge 
better of us. And in all afTociation, combina- 
tion, and linking in acquaintance, labour to 
joyne with thofe that are Lillies, who cad a good 
and a fweetfavour. For we flnllgaine by their 
acquaintance, whom Salomon affirmeth to be 
better, and more excellent then their brethren. 
What are other people then t they are but 
Thornes; therefore let not thofe which are ////>/ 
have too much, or ncere acquaintance with 
Tbornes, leaft they prick us, and (asourblef- 
fcd Saviour faith ) turning sgaine all to berent 
us. it is faid of out BlefTed Saviour in the Can 
ticles. He feedtib Among the Lillies. And indeed 
where is there any truedelightto be had under 
Heaven, but inthcir company who are gracious* 
What can a man receive from propiunefpirrs, 
in regard of comfort of foule t nothing, they 
areas theb.inen wilderncflethat can yeeld no 
thing, their hearts are empty, therefore their 

But let our delight 
P 4 "be 

tongues are worth nothing. 



- I 

The Returning 

SBR.VII. b e W j t j 1 David toward,.6. .Jand, and then we fcall 

.---,-. / 

growb in fa 
vtrs " ~ 


stride AJtfanh his notes as Le(,aa- 
Becaufewc have fpokcn of growth, 
have occafion to touch ithereafor, 
be large in the Point. God here 
growth not oncly to the Church, 
particu ar Chnftian: and it is very 


fmell ofa fweer Sacrifice from us,as is fit V- 
can we without it wirh.ftand our enemies 
beare our croffes tha^ God may call us too 
, gaine, without growth and ftren<nh we rann 
performe thofe great duties that God require, 
at ourhaiKisofThankfulnefle: nor doe line 
fo cheerefully and fweetly ~ gs 

table*" "- T - r - 


c* K ou *kM 

can doe nothing acceptably, either to God o 
his people: the more Grace, 

r r T f "r v " ai vvc ma 

the Promifes, thisefpecially, thar we fli 
up in Graee and Knowledge, ^ 
cajt forth our roetes as Lebanon. 

Btt-bswfoAllwecomtttgrcw ?. 


hepro.aifes in 
aright or!e~. 

forme our w,ay e Sj to enter in a new 
the time to com fe that wee will 

The Returning BackJIider* 

, but will renounce our particular per- 
fonall finnes, after which we (hall find fan&ify- 
ing grace, fo as the dew of Gods Spirit will 
make us grow: therefore, take this order to im- 
proove the promifes. Goe to God for his love 
in Chrift,for the pardoning of finnc, and accep 
ting of us in him, that we may find a fence of his 
love in accepting of our perfons, in the pardo 
ning of our finne 3 which is the ground of love: 
for then this fence of his love will kindle our 
love towards himagaine, feeling that we are in 
the ftate of grace. Then goc ro God for his 
promife in this order : Lord, thou haft promifed 
that thou wilt be as the^n?, and that we fhall 
grow as LMies ; make good thy promifethen, 
that I may finde the eflfe&uall power of it tranf- 
forming my foule into the blcifed Image of thy 
deare Sonne. 

And know, that we muftufeallthemeanes 
of growth together with the promife : for in the 
things of this life, if a man were affured chat the 
next yeare would be a very plcntif ull yeare ; 
would men therefore because they were thus 
forewarned, hang up their plowes, and not 
prepare their ground, no, but they would 
the rather beencouraged.totakepaines, becaufe 
they know that howfoever God be pleafed 
to vouchfafe plenty, yet he will doe itintheufe 
of mcanes, obferving and depending on his 
Providence. So when he hath made gratious 
promifes of the Dew of his Grace, and of 
growth as Li Hies, &c. This implyeth a fub- 




t?e muft ufe 
*U meancs of 




i Cor. 1 5. 5 8. 

The Returning Backfltdtr. 

ordinare ferving of his gracious Providence, 
therefore it is a way to ftirre us up unto the ; 
ufe of all meanes rather, and no : to take us j 
off from them. Even as God when heetold 
the Ifraelites : I mil give you, the Undof CAKA. 
an, did onely promife it, leaving the remain, 
der to their conqueft in the ufe of meanes. 
Should this have made them caft away their 
fwords ? No* but ic was that they might fight, 
and fight the more couragioufly. So when 
God hath promifed growth in Grace, fhnjld 
this make us carelcffec O no, it fliouldmake 
us more diligent andcarefull, and comforts us 
in the ufe of meanes, knowing that our labour 
ihall not be in vaine in the Lord. Now Lord 
I know Ifhall not loofe my labour in hearing, 
in receiving of the Sacrament, in the commur 
jiion of Saints, and ufe of fan&ified meanes ; 
for thou haft made a gratious promife, that I\ 
Jh all grew as the Lillie y and that thou wilt be a* 
the dtw unte wee*, therefore make thy good 
worke begun, cffedually unto my poorefoule,! 
that it may flourifli and be refreflied as a watered 
garden. But there are feverall forts of growth 
formerly touched, either 

I. \^A growing nyu> ar d^ or 

2 ^ i^f S r0wtn S * n *ke rootc,or 

j cX Spreading and growing in the Fruity 

Therefore Chriftians muftnotalwayeslooke 
to have their growth in one and the fame place, 
but muft wifely confider of Gods prudent} 


Ibe Returning Backflider* 

dealing with his children in this kind, as will be 
furt her feene here-after in the particulars. 
He frail cajl forth his rootes as Lebanon. 

That is, He (ball caft and fpread, and fo put 
forth his rootes as Lebanon ; h (hall grow up 
ward and downcward ; in regard of firmenefle 
he (hall be more rooted. In what proportion 
Trees grow upwards, in that proportion they 
take roote downewards : becaufe otherwife, 
they may be top heavy and overturn?, a blaft of 
winde taking advantage of their, talneffe and 
\veakeneffetorootethem out the fooner : there 
fore proportionable to their fpreading above, 
there muft be a rooting in the ground. As the 
Prophet fpeakes to Hezekiah of Gods people, 
i^4 nd the remnant that is efeaped of the houft_j 
of ludahf frail yet tgaine take roote downewardand 
hare fruit upward. There muft be firmentfle 
in the roote, as well as growth in the branches, 
for which caufe, God here promifeth to the 
Church and every Chriftian, fhbility nnd fix- 
edneflta that as hee groweth upward like the 
Lillie, fo he fliould grow down ward^firme and 

Now whence comes this rootcdneflc and 
fitme ftability of Gods Children ? 

E r pecially from this, that they are now in 
the Covenant of grace, rooted in Ohrift who 
is God- man, in whom they are firmely rooted, 


In ^Advn wee had a roote of ow owne, but 
now our roote is in Chrift. All grace is firft 
powred into Chnfts bleiTed Nature, and then 


i King. 


i^d nfw. 

7 he cav/~eo c 
tfa Saints fla 

The Returning Back/Itder. 

R Dm, ix, 1 8. 


at a fecood hand, out of his fMveffe we aU receive 
grace fir grace. Being rooted in Chrift we be 
come firme, for there is in him an everlafting 
marriage and union. The Root* beareth ut^ we^> 
beare not the roote : Chrift beareth us, wee 
bearenot him. So now in the covenant of grace, 
all the firmenefle is out of us. Even as falvati- 
on it felfc was wrought out of us by a Media- 
tours fo i is kept by a Mediatour out of us: 
all goodneffe, grace and favour of God to us 
is not in us but in Chrift, but it is foout of us 
as Chrift and we are one. But now we oncly 
fpeake of thecaufeof our firmencffe and ftabi- 
lity, that becaufe we are in the ftare of grace, 
we have an everlafting firmenefle as we arc in 
Chrift Jefus. God now making a fecond cove 
nant, he will not have it difanulled as the firit 
was, for his fecond workes are better then his 
firft. His firft Covenant was, Doe this and live, 
but his fecond is, Beleeve this and live : So as 
howfocver our ftaie in grace be but little, yet 
itisofableflcd, growing, fpreading, firme na 
ture, fo fure, as what is begun in grace, will 
end in glory, where God gives the firft fruits,! 
he will give tenths, yea the full harveft ami | 
all. Becaufe by the covenant of grace, we 
arc one with Chrift, who is an everlafting 
Head that never dyes. Sub-fervant to this now 
wee have promifed in the covenant of grace*, 
That we (hall never depart from him, andthac 
he will never dcpirt from us to doe us good, 
he puts an awbnnd into our hearts, that \vcfhallj 


Ibe Returning Back/lid<r+ 

never depart from him : but this Point being 

often touched, leaving it, we w come tosn- 
fwer feme objections. 

It may feemc that thcfc things arc not fo, 
Gods Children doc not alwayes grow and 
fpread themfclvcs : but they are often overtur 
ned and fall. 

This is nothing, they are mooved, but not 
remoovcd : they are as Mount Zion which 
cannot be remooved, but abideth forever: 
which though it may be fliaken with earth 
quakes, yet it is not remooved thereby. The 
gates of Hell, and forrowes of death may fet 
lore upon them, butnotprcvaile agaigft them, 
they may falhbut not fall away, they may be as 
a wether-beaten tree, but not as a tree puld up 
I by the rootes : therefore they are compared 
here to a tree whoferoote {lands faft (till. This 
much the Church after a forefryall and endu 
rance of much affii&ion confttfeth. ^4 11 this 
is ccmc upon us, yet have we not forgotten tkc<L^ : 
neither have we dealt falfly in thy covenant : our 
heart is not .turned backc, neither have our fleps 
dtclin dfrom thy way, though thou haft broken us 
in the place of Dragons, &nd covered u* withtbt^> 
fitdo \v of death, &C. 

And rgaine, though they fall 5 yet they 
learnetoftand faft by their falls, are gainers by 
their lofles,and become frrongerby their weak- 
nefles: as tall Cedcrs,the more they are finkcn 
by the winds, the mere deepely they take.roo- 
ttng : So Chriftians, the more ftormes and 







s E T.vir. 




The Returning Backjltder. 

blafts they have^ the more they are faftly roo 
ted : that which wethinketo be the overthrow 
of Gods children, doth but roote them deeper. 
As Peter after his fall tooke deeper rooting, and 
&4viid$tc. fo after all outward ftorraes and de- 
clinings, here is the fruit of all; they cake dee 
per rooting, whil/t their finnes are purged away 
by their fiery afflictions. 

But why then are they not more comfortable 
in their lives, in feeling and feeing of Gods wife, 
ordering of things? 

Firft, becaufe though God worke ftrongly 
and furely in them, yec he doth it for the moft 
part flowly ( as the Wifeman fpeakes ) all his 
workes being btwtifull in time : therefore they 
apprehend not their comforts as they ought, 
and fogoe mourning the longer; the time of 
knitting divine experiences together not being 
yet come. 

Secondly, becaufe the anguifli ofthecroflfe 
( if it bee quicke and fliarpe ) many times 
takes away the apprehenfions of Gods excel- ] 
lent ends in the fame : as the children of Ifraell i 
could not hearken unto <jM0fis for anguifhandi 
vexation of fpirit : Noaffliliion (faith the Apo- 
ftk) forthefrefent is jeyotts, though afterwards it 
brings forth the <j*iiet fruit of Righteoufnefle. 

Then againd Satans malice, who cafts in 
floods of temptations, is great : fo that the 
foule cannot enjoy that fwect tranquillity and 
peace it otherwise might, cafting in -doubts 
and numbers of what-ifs into the foule : fo that 


The Returning Backflider* 

for a time, he caufcsaftrongdiverfionin them, 
whence after that, there fblloweth peace a- 
gaine, when thofe temptations arc fcenc and 

It # long alfo of our hives, who are not armed 
forcrofTcs and afflidions, untillwe arefuddcn- 
ly fiirpr^zed by them ; and then leaving our 
watcM nflnefTe, and forgetting our confolation, 
we are (truck downe for the prefent by them, 
and cannot fupportour felves againft them. 

And laftlv, It comes alfo from Gods wife or 
dering and tbfyofng Providence, who will not do 
all at once: our comforts muft come by de- 
giees, now a litile and then a little : our experi 
ence, and fo our comforts come together, after 
we have honoured God in dependancc upon 
his will and plcafurc; and yet this hinders not, 
but a Chriftian growes (till though heebefor 
the prefcnt infenfible of it : as a man is alive and 
growes whilft hefkepes, though he be not fen- 
fible of it. Ocher objcdionshave bcene for 
merly touched. 

Htfka&c*Jl forth his root es as Lebanon. 
We feethtn that the ftatc of Gods children is 
a,firmeand a ftable condition, whence we may 
obfcrvc the difference betwixc Gods people and 
others. Gods people are rooted and fpread 
their rootc. But the other have rottcnncffein 
their roote, being curfed without any founda 
tion. "For take a man who is not a good Chri 
ftian, where is his founda:ion^ oncly in the 
things of this world.. Now all heere is vanity, 




o:!:cr none. 


The Returning B 

1 2-9,6. 

and we our fclves by trufting vanity become 
vaine ; Ewry man in hk ben estate, is altogether 
vMtj; vanity in himfelfe, andtrufts in vanity. 
What ftablenefle can there be in vanity ? Can 
a man flare nonftante ? ftand in a thing that ftands 
not in it felfe? Will a pidure continue that is 
drawne upon the Ice? will it not failecand melt 
away when the Ice upon which it is drawne 
thawcs? So all thefc who have not the dew of 
Gods grace, they areas a picture upon the water, 
have no foundation, and ftand upon that which 
cannot ftand it felfe. Therefore the Scripture 
compareth them to the worftofgraffe, which 
hath no good roote, grade upon the houfe top, 
which hath no bleffing of thofe that come by, 
but there ftands perking up above others. So it is 
with men that have no grace, they canperkeup 
above others: but as they havenoftableroote, 
nor theblefling of Gods people, /lability with 
the Spirit: of God inwardly, and the prayers of 
Gods people to wacc rand bleflc them : fothey 
perifh and wither quickly. Nay whole nations 
(ifwicked) have no foundation* What is be 
come of the great Monarchies of the world? 
The i^djfyrian, Peyjiatt, Grecian aud Rowane Mo 
narchies ? and for C/V/^themfelves, they have 
dted like men, and had their periods. Onely a 
Chriftian hath a Kingdome, a ftable conditi- 
on which cannot be fhaken : he takes his rootc 
firmer ftrongly, and growes ftfonger and ftrongcr till 
t , becaufe. hegrowesto Heaven, nay indeed while he lives 
8 m Booted in Heaven before his time, for 

though - 

The Returning Backflider. 

though we be in Earth we are rooted in Heaven 
Chrift our roote is in Heaven, and his Faith 
which is wrought from Heaven, carrieth us to 
Chrift in Heaven, and love that grace of union 
following the union of Faith 3 carrieth us to 
Chrift a! for even before cur time, we arc there 
in Faith , Love and loy. Therefore a poore 
JGhriftian is firme and ftable even in this life, 
[having union with Chrift, though he creepe 
mpon the earth and feeme a defpifed perfon , 
yet his roote is in Heaven, whfre he hath union 
with Chrift > ///* Kfi b hid with Godin 
who when be Jhall AppstrC) hee (hall appeare 
with him likewife in glory. Therefore, if 
Chrift be firme, ihe cftatc of a Chriftian muft 
needs be firme: For he is a C^dar, another man 
is as graffeor corne upon the houfe top, ^x/// 
flcfl) is graffe^ faith the Prophet, otjcft. J but 
they have wit and memory , and p^rts, &c. 
yet they are but as the flower of the graffe, per 
haps better then ordinary graflTe, but the graflfe 
withcreth, and the flower fadcth: what cdn- 
cinueth then ? the word of the Lord, and com 
fort and grace by that word, endttres for ever, 
and makes us endure for ever. This is excel- 
lently fct downe by the Prophet David, we fee 
there the righteousman is compared to a tree 
planted by the water fide, his leafe failes not. 
So a Chriftian is planted in Chrift, heisftill on 
the growing hand, and his leafe lhall not wither, 
Tfofe who Are planted in the houfe of the Lord, /hall 
flour t/h in the Courts 9 four God, 7 hey fall 




rfe. i. 

jt CtMiWt fiO 

wr condition. 


Pfal 51,1. 

The Returning BacKflider. 

fruit in thtiroldagejheyfliaHbefa. 
they fhallgrowlikea Cedar in Lebanon. 

This cleare dif&rence, (hould ftirretis up to 
>e comforted in our condition, which is firme 
and ftablc. Why doe we value chriftall above 
jlaffe * Becaufe it is brighter, and of more 
continuance. W-hy doe we value continuing 
things, inheritances above annuities ? Becaufe 
they continue. Jf by the ftrength of our dif- 
couife we value things anfwcrable to their laft- 
ingj whyfliDuId we not value the beft things ? 
our eftate in grace, this is a lafting condition, 
for a Chriftian is like a Cedar jhtt. is rooted,and 
takes deeper and deeper root, and never leaves 
growing till he grow to Hewcn:HtJhall c aft forth 
his roetes a* Lebanon. 

Againe, let all them make Ufe of it, rhat find 
not the worke of gr^ce upon their hearts : O ! 
let them confidervvhat a fading condition they 
are in, they thinkcthey.can due great matters, 
perhaps they have a deflrudive power 5 they 
labour to doe mifchiefe, to crtiii whom they 
will in this world. But what is all this* we fee 
wh^t thePfalmift faith^ofaD^,acnrfed man, 
who had a dcftroy ing power. Why boaflctt tbou 
thy fdfe in* mi J chiefs mighty man ? the good 
neffevf Cod etdweth contiieually. Why boaftcft 
thou thy fclfc that thou canft doe mifchiefc 
and overturnc Gods people t &c. Know this 
that the goad will of God continues. Boaft not 
thy felfc, thy tongue devifcft mifchiefc, as a 
(harp? razor, God fliail deftroy thee forever. 


The Returning Backflider. 

He (kill caftrhce away and pull thcc out of thy 
dwelling, and root thcc out of the Land of the 
living. Thofe men that rcjoycc in a definitive 
power 5 in r heir ability to doe mifchicfc, and cx- 
ercifing of that ability all they can, th-y fhill 
be pi utkr out of their place, and rooted out of 
the land of the living. And as it is in 106, they 
jfliall he hurled away as a man hurlcsa ftone out 
of a fling, Then what (hall the righteous fay? 
they {ball fee and feare. and fay: Loethts isthz^> 
WAV that mad? not God his ftrtHgth,hut tru fled in the 
aboundance of hi* riches, And ftrengthencd him- 
felfe t* wichdneffe. He thought to rootc him- 
fclfefofaftthathcflio-ild never bee remooved, 
but atthelaft irfhill coTieto pa(Te,that all that 
fee him (ball fay : loe, fee, what is become of 
him? this is the man, thattrufted i i his riches 
and made not God his ftrcrgrh,what is become 
of him ? faith DavtJvf himiclfjam like Accent 
Olive tree in the houfe of God: I tmft in the mer 
cy of God fir tvcrtndever. Let th;-m truft if they 
will in Riches, Power, Strength, and Fa 
vour with Saul and great men, yet notwith- 
ftandingbe Doeg what he will, / Jbatt be A gntn 
olive planted m the houfeof God,&c. 

Sohcereisadoublc ufe the Scripture makes 
of thefe things, i. The godly man rejoyceth 
in his condition, and a. Ocher men fcare and 
grow wife not to truft to their fading condition. 
They arc(as the Prophet fpcakes)/** <f biy tret-, 
that flourifliesfor a time, and then after come 
to nothing, their place is no where found. They 


Job 17.11 




The Returning Backflider. 

keepca great deale of doe in the world for a 
time, but afterwards, where is fuch an one? 
their place is no where found, no where com 
fortably, they have a place in Hell, but com- 
fortablya place no where. This is the eftate 
of all thofe who have not a goo<i rocte, for 
faith Chrift, Every flant that my heavenly Father \ 
htthnot planted fiall he rooted up. It is true of 
every condition and of every man, if Ccd have 
not planted him in that excellent ftate, or doe 
not in time, he fhall be rooted up : for the time 
will come that the Earth will hold him no lon- 
ger,he rootes himfelfe now in the earth, which 
then (hall cad him out.He cannot (lay here long, 
Heaven will not receive him, then Hell muft. 
j What a miferable thing is- this, whea wee 
; place and botrome our fclyes upon things that 
j will not laft r when our felves flwll out-laft 
our foundation ? when a man (bill live for ever 
and that which he builds on is fading, what ex- 
treamity of folly is this? to build on Riches, 
Favour, GreatnefTe, Power, Inheritance^whicb 
either muft bee taken from him, orhee from 
them, heknowethnot how foone. 

What makes a mm miferable, but the dif- 
appointing of his hopes, and cro iTingof hisaf- 
fedions? Nowwhcnamanpitcheth his foulc 
too much upon his worldly things, from which 
there muft be a parting, this is as if it were the 
rending of the skinne from the flcfli, and the 
flcfli from the bones, when a mans foule is rent] 
from chat he pircheth his h^ppineflfc on, this! 


The Returning Backjlidcr. 

makcthaman mifcrablc: formifery is in dif- 
appointing the hopes and crofling the affedi- 
ons. NowonelyaChriftian plants his heart 
and affedions on that which is cvcrlafting, of 
cquall continuance with his foule : As hee ftiall 
live for ever, fo hceis rooted for ever in that 
which muft make him everlaftingly happy. 
Thefc things wee heare, and they are unde 
niable rrue, but how few make ufe of them to 
dcfift from going on in a plodding fwelling dc- 
(irc of an earthly condition to over-top other 
men * fuch labour to grow in tauleneffe and 
height, butftrivcnotto be rooted. Now that 
which grows perking up in height,ovcr->topping 
other things,yet without root, what will become 
ofitfltwillbe turned up by the Roots. 

Now,How fhall we grow to be rooted r For 
to attain hereunto, it is not onely necefTary to ap- 
ply the prornifes and challeng God with them, 
buctoconfideralfowhat wayes hce will make 
them good. 

Firft,Libour to know Godand his free Grace 
in JdTus C\\^:Grorvingrace y andin 


efour Lord lefa Chnft : they goe both toge 
ther: the more we grow in the knowledge of 
our Loid Jefus Chrift, and of the Grace of 
God in him, the more grace and rootednefle 
we (hall have. For that which the foule doth 
cleerely apprehend, it fattens upon in that 
meafurc it apprehcndeth it. Clecrenefle in the 
underftanding breeds carncftncfle in the aflfe&i- 
ons, and faftneffe too. So the more wee grow 

Q 3 in 

Hovto lew 
tcA in Grace. 

I. To 

a Pec. 5. 18. 



Labour to ^en> 

z Cor, x.i o, 

Returning Backflider* 

inknowledge, the more wee roote our felvcs 
in that we know. And therefore the Apoftle 
pray es for the Epkefans^ that they might have 
the Spirit of Revelation,&e. That they might 
know the height, breadth, depth and length 
of Gods love, thatpafTeth knowledge, Epkef. 
3.14 Per this caufe I bow my knees unto tht^> 
Father of our Lordhfa Chrift, ef whom the^j 
whole family of Heaven and Earth is named : that 
he would grant you according to the riches of his 
Glory, to be Strengthened by his Spirit in tht^> 
inner manjhfi Chrijl may dwell in yottr hearts by 
faith* that ye being rooted and grounded in hvz^, 
inthefenfc of Gods love to us,, and fo-ofonr 
love to him againe (for we are not rooted in! 
love to God, tillvvce be rooted in thefenfe of 
Gods love to u)thatyoumay be able to comprehend 
with all SaintSythe. height and breadth, &c. 

And withall,labour to know the gratious Pro- 
mifes of Chrift, for we are knit to him by virtue 
of his word and Promi(es:which like himfelfe 
are Tea and ^Arnen. ] B H o v A H yefterda* , 
to day, and the fame for ever. So all his 
Promifcs made in him, they are Tea and ^Amen y 
in themfelves firme,and firme to us in him. They 
are Tetand Amen: that is, they are made and per- 
formed in Chrift, in whom they are fure to be 
performed, and thereupon they are fume too. 
God madethem 5 who is } E H o v A H,and they 
are made in Chrift that is J E H o v A H. So 
God the Father JEHOVAH, he promifeth, 
and he makes them good in Chrift J E H ov. AH, 
who is unchangeable. But, 

The Returning Back/litter. 

But this is not enough, wee muft labour to 
have our hearts ftablifhed, that they may re- 
ly firmcly on that which is firm^. For if a 
thing be never fofirme, except we rely firmcly 
on it, there is no (lability or ftrcngth from it. 
Now when there is ft rcngth in the thing, and 
ftrengthinthefoule, tbatftrengch is impregna 
ble and unconquerable ftrcngth. In Chrift they 
arc Yea and Amen, in whom he ftablifhcth us, 
annointsus,fealesus,and gives us the earned of 
fee Spirit in our hearts, 

How doth Godftablifli us upon thcPromi- 
fes? The reft which followeth is an explica 
tion of this; when he gives us the earneft of the 
Spirited feales us to be his, in token he meancs 
tomakegoodthebargaine,thenvve are eftabli- 
flird, Bm we are never firmely eftablifhed, till 
we get theafTurancc of falvation. Then as the 
PrornifesareYeaand Amen in themfelves, fo 
we are ftablifhed upon them,when wee are fea- 
Icd and have the earneft of the Spirit. Let us la 
bour therefore to grow in the knowledge of 
Gods love in Chrift, to know the height, 
brcadch, depth, and length of it, and to grow 
inallthegratious proraifes which are made in 
Chrift> who is Amen himfelfe, as his promi- 
fesare, and then when wee are fealed and an- 
noirned by the Spirit:, we (hall be fo ftablifbzd 
that nothing (hall moove us. Therefore let 
us ufc all meanes for the eftiblifliing of 
growth in us, the Word and Sacraments efpe- 
cially. For as Baptifme admits us intothchoufe 

CL 4 of 

Our harts 
mtt/l be ftabli- 
Jhed on that i 
wbicbu frme. 

How G*d doth 



The Returning Backflider* 

of God,foby the Sacrament of the Lords Sap- 
per,the blcffed food of the foule, we are ftreng- 
thened. In the ufe of thefe meanes, lee us make 
fuit unto God to make good his gratious Pro- 
rnifeuntous, that we (hall grow as Lillies> and 
take root,as the Cedtrsin Lebanon. 

Let us know that wee ought every day to la- 
>our to be more and more rooted : do we know 
what times may befall us? Wee have need to 
>row every day ,to grow upward^and in breadth 
and indepth.Ifweconfidered vvhat times wee 
may live to, itfhould force us to grow every 
way, efpecially in humility, that root and mo 
ther of graces^to grow downeward in . that, to 
grow in knowledge and faith untill we be fitlec 
with the fulneflc of God. 

ApooreChriftianofttimes makes this Ob 
iedion, O J doe not grow, therefore I feare my 
ftate, lamoftfliaken, therefore this Promife 
not fulfilled to me. 

Tothis]anfwer, Chriftiansmay bee dece 
ved, for they do grow oft times in firmenefTe 
ftrength and (lability , though they doe no 
fprcad out 5 they may grow inrefioedneffe, th 
thai! which conies from them may bee rnor 
pure, and kfTe mixed with naturall corrup- 
tion, Pride, Selfe-love and the like. This is a 
temptation that old men are fbbjed: too efpeci 
ally, in whom the heat of nature dccayes> 
^ whothinke withall that grace decay es. But it 
j is not fo, for oft times when grace is carried 
I with the heate of nature 3 it makes a greater I 
! (hew/ 

The Returning Backflidcr. 

fhew being hclpt by nature. The demonftrati- 
on, but not the truth of grace is thus helpt.Thcr- 
forcthisclaufeofthePromife is made good in 
old Chriftians, they are every day more and 
more rooted, firme, ftable and judicious, and 
more able in thofegraces which belong to their 
place and condition. Therefore, they fhould 
not be difcouraged, though they be not carried 
with the ftrcame and tide of nature, help c 
with that vigonr that fometime was in thm. 
They grow in judicioufneffe, mortificdncfle, in 
heavenly-mindedneffe, and in ability to give 
ood counfell to others. This is well, for we 
grow not in grace one way, but divers vvayes j 
not onely when we grow in outward demon- 
fhation,and in many fruits and a&ions; but when 
we grow in refinedneflc and judicioufneflc (as 
was faid)then we are faid to grow likewife. 

Yetnotwithftanding, itfluuldbcthe indea- 
vour of all to grow what they can in grace, 
when if they grow not fo fad as others, let 
hem know that there are feverall ages in 
thrift. A young Chriftian cannot be fo plan 
ed and fo dcepely rooted as another that is of 
a greater (landing. This (liould not difcourage 
any, feeing there are babes in Chrift, as well 
as ftrong men. Therefore where there is truth 
of heart, with indeavourto grow better and bet 
ter, and toufeall meanes, let no man bc dif 
couraged. Remember alway this for a truth, 
that we may grow, and we ought to grow, and 
the children of God ordinarily have growne! 


The Returning Backflicter. 

Tiore and more, both in fruitfulnefle and fted- 
aftnefle every way, but not with a like growth 
nmeafureortime. Therefore labour to make 
ufe of thefe promifes, and not to favour our 
elves in an ungrowing eftate, for grace is of a 
growing nature. If it grow not in ftuitfulncffe, 
fet it growes in the Roote ; as a plant fome- 
times growes in fruitfulndTe, fometimes in the 
[loote. There is more vercue in Winter time in 
the Roote, then in the fruit which is gone. So 
a Chriftian groweth one way if not another : 
though not in outward demonftration, yet in 
Humiliation. God fometimes fees it ncceffary, 
that our branches (Lould not fpread for a while; 
but that we (hould grow in Humility^ by fbme 
faults and fins we fall and flip into, that we may 
fee our own weakneffe and looke up. 

Let us labour ther fore who have fo long en- 
joyed fuch ftore of bleffed meanes, tinder the 
dew of Gods grace and the influence of his Spi 
rit, in the Paradice of God, his Houfe and 
Church, having fo long lived in this Edcn^ let 
us labour now to fpread, and grow in fruitful- 
nefle, thatfo we may be filled with the fiilnefTe ! 
of God. Itisthechiefethingofall to be roo-| 
ted and grow in grace. You fee, God w! en| 
he would fingieoutabletfngjjie (els them not 
that they (hall grow rich, that they (hail fpread 
out and grow rich in the world. No, but you 
whom I love freely , take this as a fruit of it, 1C OH 
as the Lilly, you fhall grow fuiitfull 
This is the comfort of a Chri- 


The Returning Backflicter. 

ftian,thoughhegrowes downeward oft in 
world, and things of this naturall life, yet her 
growcs upward in another condition, as Li Hies 
zndCedtrs, they grow downcvvards one way, 
but they grow upwards another. Perhaps they 
may decay in their ftate and favour, and in their 
pradife and cunning in this life: but a Chi iftian, 
if he be in the ufc of right meancs>and put in fure 
thegratiousPromifes,heisfurc (till to grow in 
Graced Faith and Z0i^,and in the inner man. 

Is not this a comfort, that a Chriftian hath 
a comfortable meditation of the time to come 
inallhiscrofles? That it isfor better and bet 
ter (till: thatasintimeheisneefer Heaven, fb 
he (hall be fitter and fitter, andneererand nee- 
rer ftill with a difpofitionfuirable to the place. 
That the time to come is the bcft time 5 and that 
he fhall grow every way, in height, in bredth, 
in depth and length, and apprehenfion of Gods 
love: and that the more hee growes in know 
ledge of thefe things, ihs more he fliall grow 
in all dimenfions, being as furc of things to 
come, as of things paft: And that neither things 
prcfcnt nor to come, fhall ever fcpcrate him 
: rom the love cfGodin Chiift. What a com- 
: orcable (late is a* Chriftian in^ who isalwayes 
oathe mending hand, that is fuch :i childe of 
bcpe>whenrhehopeofthe wicked flullperifhc 
Letus labour therefore 3 that we may be in fuch 
i acafcand ftate of foule, as tjiat thoughts of the 
j time tocome may be comforrable: that when 
i we thinkc we muft be tranfplanted hence out of 

the 1 

The Returning Backflidtr. 

theParadiceand Eden of Gods Church, into a 
heavenly Paradice,that all our changes fhall be 
for the better. What a fearfull thing is it to be in 
theftatcof nature? What foundation hath a man 
inthateftate,whohathnoroote here, and that 
root he hath will faile him ere long? How feare- 
full is it for fuch a man co think of a change^ wJien 
it is not a change for the better ? 

Here is \vifdomc,ifwe will be wife topurpole, 
lee us be wife this way^labour in the firft place,to 
prize Gods favours, and to know how to come 
by them in the ufe of all means. Look to God for 
the performance of thefe gratious promifes ; for 
they arc not of what we {hall doe in our felves 
but what God will do in the Covenant ofgrace? 
And if a Chriftian fliould not bee rooted and 
grow ftronger and ftronger, we {hould not faile, 
but God arid Chrift fhould ftile,whois our root 
and bcares us up.Therfore God hath taken upon 
him the performance of all thefe things^what re- 
maineth from us,but a carefull ufing of all means- 
and in the ufe of all,a going out of our ftlves to 
God,that he would be as the dew to ^,and caufc 
us by the dew of his Spirit to grow more and 
more rooted in grace as long as wee live in this 
world^and then our rooting and ftability lies up- 
onGod,not upon us.-he fails if we faile; who hath 
undertaken,that wcfoallgrow as the Lilly 3 andc4 
forth cur Rootes as Lebanon. 

The end of the feventk Sermon. 


I G T H 


H o s, 14. tf,7- 

Bis branches lban$read> bis beauty fhattbe <** 
the Olive tree and hisfntett as Lebanon. 

They that dwell under bisfhadoV (ball return^ 
they fodlreviye as the Corne^ and grow <*s 
the Vinejhefenttherofjballbeatthe Vine 
of Lebanon \ 

E have heard at large here* 
toforc what petitions God 
puc into the heart and 
mouth of his Church: as 
alfo what gratious anfvver 
GOD gives his owne 
Petitions : Hee cannot de 
ny the praVe rs made by his owne Spirit. 
J And 

The Returning Back/lickr. 

AndasThee is "goodneffel? felfc, fo he f. 9 

tmchis, that hee goes beyond all that wee 
can defirc, thinke or fpeake: his anfwcr is 
moretranlccndcnt, as the Apofile fpeakes: hee 
does exceeding abundantly above all that we ^k^j 
orthwke,t*.c. For whereas they in particular and 
n briefe f ay D Doe good to ut, and receive u* 
totifly : He tcls them, He will bee as the 
into them: and from thence, being Dew to 
hem, is chcirfpreading and growing as* Lilly 
and cafting of their rootes as Lebanon : and 
their branches JJjaSjpreaJ^c. and all this to en- 
courage us to come to fo powcrfull and large- 
icartedaGodj who 5 ashc isablc to doe more 
then wccefire of him, fohc will alfo doe it. He 
will fa as the Dew unto its. This is the general! 
of all, for all other fruitfulnefle comes from 
this: i. God win bee as the Dew, and then 
. Th(j fall grow & the Lilly, avd caft their 
Roots as the Cedars in Lebanon, they fhall not 
onely grow upward but downeward , for the 
L -Hie quickly fpreads it fclfe forth: but they 
(hall be like the trees of Lebanon for ftedfaft- 
nefle; and then fpread in breadth, grow in all 
duncnfions. Which is fulfilled of the Church 
in general!* and of every particular Chriftian 
when once he is inChrift,ufing fan<fiificd means: 
they grow then in the root, and upright, and in 
every dimenfion : His branches fhaH ftread, and 

Hri beauty frail be as the Olive tree. 
Which chough frukefull and excellent, yet 


Sin. VIII. 

















Tbc Returning Eackflider. 

bccauic it hath no fwect fmcll, it is added : 

HisfmellftAttbc as Ltbwon. 
Thefe excellencies promifed to the Church 
of God,arenotallinonetrec, but .yet they arc 
infome fort in every Chriftian, what agrees 
not all to one plant, zgrczstotheplaxtsofXtgk 
ttoufncfit ; they grow upwards and downe 
wards, fpread and are favoury and ftuitfull 
all agrees to a tree of RightcoufncfTc. We lay 
of man he is a little world, a compendium of 
this great world, as indeed there is a coinpri- 
ing of all <:heexccllenciesof the worid in man 5 
or he hath a being with thofc creatures who 
lave onely that, and therewith he hath grow-, 
ng, fenfe and rcafon, whereby he hath com 
munion wkh God and thofe underftanding 
Spirits the Angels : fothathee is as it were a 
iimmcofallthe excellencies of the creatures, 
Irtlc world indeed. The great world hath 
othing, but the little world hath the -fame in 
ome proportion. So it is in Grace, a Ghri- 
ian hath all excellencies in him that are in the 
orld : Thne is not an excellency in any thing, 
:>ut it is in an higher kinde in a Chriftian. He 
lath the beauty of the Li lite, and he growes up 
fpreading, fmcll and fruirfulncfTej his wile- 
ome exceeds that of all the creatures : there 
is not an excellency in nature , but wee have 
fome proportionable excellency in grace which 
is above it. God ufech thefe outward things 
tohclpeus, that we fhould doe both body and 
fonlc good by the creatures. Whstfcever doih| 

our ! 




fulnefie of tie 
Olive u compa 
red to divers 


The Returning Backjlider. 

our bodies good, cither by neceffity or delight 
they help our foulsras plants and trees, not only 
rcfrefh the outward rnan,and the fenfes, but alfo 
they teach OIK louls,as here the Holy Ghoft tea- 
cheth them by outward things. Firft it is (hid, 
His Branches frail fpread. 

When God enriches the foule with faving 
gtace, one (hall grow every way andHourifh 
aboundantly, extending forth their goodneffe 
on every fide largely to the knowledge and 
open view of others,and then further, 

Hi* beauty fiall be as the olive tree. 

What is the beauty of the Olive tree? to be 
ufefull, fruitful!, and to bring forth good fruit 
Indeed the glory ofa tree is to be loaden with 
fruit, and ufefull fruir, which is the beft pro- 
perty of fruite to be ufefull and delightful!. So 
the glory ofa Chriftian, who is a plant of rich- 
teoufneffe,of Godsown planting, isto abound 
in fruits- of RighteoufndTc. Indeed the Olive 
isa very fruitfull tree,and theoyle which comes 
and diftils from it hath many excellent proper 
ties agreeing to graces. 

Amongft the reft, it is a Royallkinde O f Ii 
quowhtt will be above the rcftrfo grace i r com- 
mands all other things,it gives a fan<5Hfkd uft of 
the creature and fubduesall corruption 

And then it is unmixed, it will mina! c wifh 
nothmg s light and darkened will not mingle 
no more will grace and corruption, for the 
ileto the other, as Salomon fpcakej, 
abomination to the wicked. 

- ___^__ Further, 


The Returning Backflicter. 

Further, It is fwect,ftrengthning and feeding 
the liferas in ZtdHtrir, there is mention made of 
two Olives before the Lord, which feede the 
twocandlefticks. And Olives of Grace,have al 
wayes fatncffc diftilling from Chrift rofeed his 
lump with oyle, Gods Church hath alwayes 
oylc : and thofethat are Olives, they keepethe 
Church by their particular calling. 

1 . He ftdll be fruit full as the olive^d. 

2 . i^AhunA&nt inffitit as the olive. 

3. Con fi ant in fruit, liketheiol ve. 

For it beares fruit much, and never failes, 
no not in winter: and hath a pcrpetuall green- 
neffe. Indeed the child of God hath aperpe- 
tuall verdor : as it is,P/Tt /, j. his leafe never failes : 
Becaufe that which is the caufe of flourifhing 
never failes him. Which caufes are two, 


2. Heatz_j. 

For we know tjtfoyftureznd 
are the caufes of all kindly growth. If a tree 
have more moyftnre thenheate, then it is wa- 
tcrifh, if it have more heate then moyfture, 
then there is no bignc -fle in the fruit. So true 
it is, that moyjtwe and hcttc are the caufes of 
fruitfullneffe, in a good proportion. So Gods 
children, having the Sonne o{ Righteoufnefle 
alwayes ihfningupon them, and being alwayes 
under the Dw of grace ( the promife being, to 
bt as the Dew to Tfrael) having all Dew to fall 
upon ^thcm for mo, ft we: and having the Sonne 
of Righteonfneffe to (liine upon them to make 

R them 




Cftu es of 
rifhing of the 


The Returning 

them fruitfull, their leafe never faileyhey never 
give over bringing forth fruitrbecaufetbcy have 
inthemcaufes perpetuating fruief nines, though 
not alike. Becaufe Chriftby his Spirit is a volun 
tary, and not a naturalkaufe of their fruitfulnes. 
That is, he is fuch a caufc as workes fometiracs 
more and fometimcs IcfTe, to (hew that grace 
fprings not from our felves, and ro acquaint us 
with our own weaknes and infufficiency Heaven 
is the perfe& on of all both Graces and Com 
forts. WherforeP^r calis the ftate of Heaven, 
inheritance^ immoitallandHndcfled, that fades not 
away: Why is that an eftate ot grace and comfor 
more then this of this world? Brcaufe it is a neve 
fading eftate, there they are alway irvone tenure 
and becaufe Chrift (fowcs Wmfelfalway there 
there is abundance of water to moyften them 
and hear to cherifli them.Thcreis no interming 
ling or flopping in growth as is herejtherefore 
is an inheritance that fadeth not away, havin 
thefupply oa perpetuall caufc of flourifliing. 

This in fome degree is t-rueof the Church on 
enrch, it is the inheritance of God that fade 
not>and Chriftians therein are Olives that brin 
fporth fruit conftanrly, having a perpetua 
ficflineflTeand greenelTe. So the Righreousma 
is compared to the Cedars ef Lebanon f which 
bring, fonh much fruit in their age : he {hall be 
fruitful! as the Olive, from all which this point 
formerly touched followeth. 

That it u the excellency. and glory of a cbriffia%> 
to fa fruit fit !l in his flac^j. 


The Returning Backfiller. 

Both to be fruitful! in his place as a Chrift ian, 
and in his particular calling. To be fruitfully 
a Magiflrate, as a Miniftcr, as a govcmourof 
a family 3 as a neighbour, as a friend 3 to be fruit- 
full in all. Becaufe in Religion every neere re 
lation is as IT were a joyning together of rhe 
body ofChrifl one to another, by which fomc 
good is derived from one to another. God ufes 
theft relations as conduits to convey graces. A 
good Chriftian, themeaneft of them is a good 
neighbour and doth a greatdealeofgood 5 being 
I fruitiullasandghbour/ruitfullasafriendjmnch 
| more as a husband, as a Magiftrate,as aMinifter. 
Thtfe relations are a knitting to Chrift, by 
which fttncife and fap is derived from the head 
for the good of the whole body. Therefore a 
Chriftian inall relations is fmitfull. When he 
comes to be a Chriftian, he considers like good 
CMorJccat, what good he may doe: as he told 
Hcjtcr, What if tbou be cafoJto the ktngfamefor 
ikis furpofc : So a Chriftian will reafon with 
himklfe, what if I be called to be a Magiftrate 
or a Minifter forthis purpofe^r what if I be called 
to be a friend forfuchorfuch apu pefe* rodoe 
this or this good { indeed fuch are gratious 
Qj,^rcs made to a mans fculf, to enquire for 
v bat pwpofc- huh God raifed mec to dee this or 
thar. To be idle, or barren, or noyfonT 3 , Ono, 
to b? a plant oFGods planting : my glory lliall 
be my miitfullneffe in my plr-ce. 

ThtTcftre k-r us e v^ry one con(?der \virh ot)r 
felvcs, wherefore God ha^hfcc us in the Church 

R 2 in. 


Hcft. 4 .i4. 

The Returning BackJIukn 

Mat. 3, 10. 

in our particular (landings. Wherein Ice us re 
member this, thathowioever God may endure 
barrenaefie out of the Church in wantof means$ 
yet he will never indnie it under meanes. It is 
better for a bramble to be in the Wilderncfle 
then in an Orchard for a weed to bee abroad, 
then in a garden where it is fure to bee wee- 
ded out> as the other to be cut downc. If a 
man will be unprofitable, let him bee unpro- 
Stable out of the Church : but to be fo where 
he hath the dew of grace falling on him, in 
the meanes of falvation, where are all Gods 
fwcet favours ^ to beea bramble in the Orchard, 
to bee a weed in the Garden, to be noyfome 
in a place where wee fhould be fruitful!, will 
God the great Husbandman injure this ? 
Hee will not long put it up 5 but that he ex- 
ercifeth his children with fuch noyfome trees 
to trie them, as hc hath feme fer vice for thefc 
thornes to doe, to fcratch them: fo were it 
not for fuch like fcrvices for a time, hewoiild 
weed them out and burnc them, for whatfocvct 
is not for fruit, is for the fire: rca, every tree 
tfut bringeth not forth good fruit, flail be hemn 
downe andcaft into thefrc. 

And the more to ftirre us up hereunto, let us 
know that wherefocver the Jew- of grace falls 
and where there is the meanes offalvation, that 
( at: that very time, there is anaxe, an inftrutncnt 
| of vengeance laid to the roote of the tree 
I which is not /iruck downs presently, but it 
therooie, that is, vengeance is threatned 


The Returning Back/litter 

the tree, to that plant which hath the meanes,and 
brings not forth good fruit in time and feafba. 
What isthe end thereof? to be hewen down and 
caft into the fier. As we fee the Church of the 
lewes, when Chrift came, theMcfias, thegreat 
Prophec of the Church, never was there more 
meanesoffalvadon : yet even then, what faith 
JpfaiB4pli&i AW, even now, is the axe laid unto 
the rwte of the trt< 5 and indeed in a few yeares 
after, the whole tree, the Church of the lewes 
wascutdownf. And Rev 6.wefee,afrerthcRi- 
deronthe JtohiteHorfe, which is the preaching 
of the Gofydl) the re comes %redbloodieHorfe^r\& 
talefforfc : Warre and Famine. After the white 
Horfe, his triumphant Chariot, thepreaching of 
heGofpell : if rhistakenotp!ace,thatit winne 
and gainenot: what followes after t the red 
and the pale Horfe, Warre, Famine, aod De- 
truftion. It will not be alway with us as it is ; 
for the Gofpell having beene fo long preached, 
we having beene fo long planted in Gods Pa- 
radice,the Churchrif we bearcnot fruir, The axe 
laid t$ the rooteoftbc tree : God will ftrilce 
attheroote,and rooteupall, therefore let every 
one in their place be fruitful!. 

Every one that isfiuitfull, God hath afpeci- 
allcireof. If any tree were fruitfull, the7/r^- 
litcs in their conqueft were to fpare that, be- 
caufcitwasufefull, and they might have ufe of 
it. So God will alwayes (pare fruirfull trees, 
and have a fpeciall care of fuch in common ca 
lamities. Let us therefore be exhorted not on- 

: RJ_ jy_. 


The Benefif o/ 


"itus $.8. 

The Returning Backfliden 

w to bring forth fruit, but to bring forth fruit in 
bundance,to ftudie to excell in good works,the 
word in the Originall is, ASundtrd-beArer : to 
land before others in good workes. As it is in 
,labour to be zsSttflderd-bedters, to goe be- 
ore others ingood works.-ftrivc to outgoe others 
n fruitfulnes; for therein is the excellency. For 
hofe both in the fight of God and men are in 
moft efteeme,whoare moft ftuhfull in their eal- 
ings and places. The more we excell in fruit- 
ullnefle, the more we excell in comfort: and the 
more we excell this way, the more we may ex 
cell: for God will tend and prune good trees, 
that they may bring forth more and better fruit. 
And the more majefty we walke with,thc more 
we dampe the enemies, feeing them all under 
our fcete; a growing Chriftian never wants a- 
bundancc of incouragemencs, for he fecsfuch 
grounds of comfort, as that he walkes impreg 
nable and invincible in all the discouragements 
of this world, breaking through allj as Salome* 
faith,it is a comely thing to fee a Lyon walke: fo 
much more it is to fee a valiant, ftrong, well 
growen Chriftian ( who is bold as a Lyon ) a 
bound in good workes. 

It is laid, His beauty fbaS bee as the 
and hi* fmell M Lefanon^ the Olive of it felfe 
hath no fweetfmell, therefore itismadeupbj 
another refemblance. 

His (mill jhatl be <t$ Lebanon. 

Lebanon flood on the North fide of 
was a place abounding with goodly trees 


The Returning Back/liefer. 

and all fwcct plants whatfoever, which caft a 
wondroos fwect lent and fmell a farre off: as 
fomc Countries abound fo in fwcet fruits and 
fimples,as Oranges, Lemmans and the like, that 
the fragrancic of the fmell is fmelt of paffengers 
as they faile along the Coaft. So was this Leba 
non a place full of rare fruits and fragrant 
flowers, which caft a fent a farre of. Now, 
hence the Holy Ghoft fetchcrh the compari- 
fon ; They flail fmell at Lebanon : that is, as 
thofe plants in Lebanon which caftafweet and 
delightfull fmell a farre off, whence wee will 
onely obfcrve this, 

Thrt A Cbriftian by bis fwitfulntjjc doth de 
light ttkets. 

He is fweetxo God and man, as the 0//i^and 
fpeake of their fruitfullnes, They delight 

hce is pleafing and delightfull to the fpiritsof 
others? to God, and all that have the Spirit of 
God. As for God himfelfe, wee know that 
workes of mercy are as it were a fwcet odour; he 
is delighted with good works, as with Sacrifice, 
fmclling a fweet favour from them, and their 
prayers afcend as fweet incenfe before him. 
Every good work is pleafing and delightfull to 
God,whodwels in an humble heartland broken 
fpiritrThe upright are his delight. We fee like- 
wife how Chrift commends the graces of his 
Church, which whole booke is full of praifes in 
this kinde one of another. The Church fets out 
the praifcs of Chrift, and Chrift the praifes of 

R 4 the 



Pro. 1 1. io. 

The Returning Rackflider. 

Cant .2. 1 4. 


the Church. The Church is fweet, o let met 
heare thy voice for it is fweet awd lovely 5 The 
Churches voice is fweet,praying to God orprai. 
fing him. So whatfoever comes from the Spirit 
of God, in the hearts of his children is fweet, 
God laies to heart the voice of his children. 

And as it is true of God, fo is it of Gods peo 
ple, they are delighted with the favour of thofe 
things that come from .other of Gods people. 
For they have graces in them, and therewith the 
Spirit of God which isas firetofct aworkeall 
thofe graces in them. For it is the nature of 
fire where it incounters with fweet things, to 
kindle them and make them fmell more fragrant 
and fweet. So a fpirit of love makes all fweet 
and pleafing whatfoever in the children of God 
it puts agracefullneffe upon their words 5 ma 
king their reproofes^dmonitionsxomfons^nc 
whatfoever comes from them, to have a de- 
lightfullncfle in them : becaufe al! is done in 
love, and comes from the Spirit of God,, whicl 
carriethafweetnefife in it, to all thofe endowe< 
with the fame fpirit. 

Let this be an incouragement to be in lov 
with the ftate of Gods children, that fo.ou 
workes and whatfoever comes from us as ftrr 
as it is fpirimall, may bee scceprsble unto 
God, and to the Church while -we are living, 
nay when we are dead. The very workes cf 
holy men when they are dead, ate as a box of 
oyntment, as the oyntmcnt of the Apothecary, 
as the t wife-man fayes of Iofi.ih> whofe very 


The Returning Backflidtr* 

name was like the oynrment of the Apbchecarie. 
So the name of thole who have flood out for 
good, and have beene good in their times, it 
cnrriesafwectnerfe with it when they arc gone. 
The Church of Godrifeth out pf the afliesof 
the Martyrs, which hitherto fmels fweet and 
puts life in thofe who come after : fo precious 
are they both dead and alive. 

And then, let it be an incouragcmcnt to be 
Jed by Gods Spirit, and planted in Gods houfe 
and to be fruitfull in our places, t hat fo we may 
delight God and man, and when we arc gone 
leave a good fent behind us. Good men, as it 
were with their good fern they leave bcUindc 
them, perfume the times, which arethebetter 
for them dead and alive, , Wjhat.a.- fweet fa 
vour hath Paul- left behind him, by his wri 
tings to the Church, even to the end of the 
.world ? what fragrancie of delightful! finels 
have the holyantient Fathers and Mai tyrs left 
behindcthem* a good man fhouldbs like the 
box of oyntmen^ ipokcn of in the. Gfcfpcll, 
which when it was opened, the whole-home 
was filled with the fvveetneffe thereof, fo a good 
man fliould labour to bee full of fwectncflcu 
wil-lingnefTc and abilities to doegqod >v -dkWrKU 
led by a fpirit of love in him, that, when heis 
opened, all fliould-be pleafing anddcHghtfuli 
tha? coir^inerh from him. Chrift n^ver opened 
his niouifh but from him, and the 
I-fcavcns never opened in vaine : therefore in 
opening of our mouches,.we fhould 




The Returning BackJIidtr. 

fill the places where we are with a good favour. 
O how contrary is this to the condition of 
many, what comes from them t filthy fpeeches 
and oaths,nay that which (hould be their rtiame 
they glory in. We fee it is the glory of a tree 
to be fruitful!, and to caft forth a good favour, 
like the trees of Lebanon. What vile fpirits then 
are fuch men led withall, who delight to offend 
God and man by their impious fpeeches ? who 
yet are fo bold as to fliew their faces, to out 
dare others that are better then therafelves : 
fuch are contrary to all Gods fenfes. The 
Scripture condefcendsfofarreto our capacitie, 
as to attribute fenfes unto God, of feeling, fmel- 
ling and touching,&r. So God is faid to looke 
upon his children with delight, and to heare 
their prayers. Let me heare thy ve/cefoc. And 
hetaftes the fruit that comes from them. So on 
the contrary, all his fences are annoyed with 
wicked men and vile perfons, whoareabhomi- 
nable to God, as the Scripture fpcakes. Asa 
man that goes by a (linking dung-hill flops his 
nofe and cannot endure the fent. So the blafphe- 
mous breath of gracelefTe perfons, it is abhom- 
inablc to God, as it were, God cannot endure 
fuch an odious fmell, and for his ejes he cannot 
endure iniquity, to looke upon the wicked, 
and for his cares, their prayers are abhomi- 
nable, how abhominable then are their perfons 
whence thofe prayers proceed ? they have 
proud hearts hating God and man, wherefore 
praying out of neceffity, not love to him, they 


The Returning Backflider* 

are abhominablc. And fo hi feeling, your fa- 
crificcs arc a burthen unto me, I cannot bcarc 
them, and the Prophet complaineth that God 
was burthenedand loaded under their fins, as a 
cart preffcd till it be ready tobreakc under the 
(heaves. All his fcnfcs are offended with wicked 
men. Thishardned wretches thiiike not ofthat 
whilft Godfils their bellies with good things, 
goe on in fincurity, but the time will come, when 
they (hall know the truth of thefe things, what 
it is to lead an odious abhominable life, contrary 
to God and all good men. .Hence we fee what 
we (houldbe, that we may give afweet fent: 
Hisfntell fhall be as Lebanon. 

Wicked men know this very well, that the 
lives, fpeeches and courfes of good men for 
the moft part are fruitfull beyond theirs, there 
fore what they can, they labour to caftafper- 
fions upon them that rficy may not fmcll fo 
fweer, fo crying downc thofe who arc better 
then themfclves, that they may be the Idfeill 
thought of: and fetting a price upon all things 
in themfelves and their companions. Take 
me a knot of curfed companions, and they are 
the onely ftout, the onely wife and learned men, 
all learning it muft live and die with them: 
and all other men, though incomparable be 
yond them inabilities, in grace, in fruKfullncfle 
to doe good, they are no body, and this pol- 
licic the EHvell tcacheththem. But this will 
ootferve theturne, for God both in life, and 
after death will raife up the cfteeme of fwch 


Amos. l, 


Pro. 1 0,7. 

The Returning 

who have bcene fruit full, when the memwie eftke 
wicked ft all r&^ and not be mentioned without 
a kind of loathing. Therefore lee no mantruft 
to this foolifh policie, to cry downe all others 
that are better then themfelves, thinking there 
by themfelves (ball be Wtter efteemed. This 
will not doc, for as a! 1 other things, fo our good 
name is at Gods difpofi.ig. It is not in the world 
to take away the good name or acceptance of 
good people,- for they (hall have in fpight of 
the world, a place in the hearts ofGodspeo- 
ple,whoare beft able to judge. The next thing 
promifed is, 

They that dwell under his fliadowfotll returns. 

The Holy Ghoft it feemes cannot expreffe 
in words and Comparifons enough, the excellent 
condition of the Church and of the Chil 
dren of God, when they are once brought 
into the ftate of Grace. " The former words 
concerne the excellencie of the Children 
of God in themfelves : and thefe the fruit- 
fullnefle and goodncffe of them that are un 
der them, who (hall be brought into the fa- 
mil ? es and places where they live, They that 
dwell under his JhaJow, under the fhadow of 
Ifraell, fhall returne and revive as the corne : 
and grow as the Vine ^c. For fo it is moft fitly 
meant of Ifraell. For formerly it is faid, / will 
he at the Dew unto ifraell. Originally ic is 
meant of Chrifts fhadow ; but brcaufe who- 
fbcvcr dwells imder the Ch irchcs fludow, 
dwels under Chrifis, therefore it is fitly 

apply ed 

Returning Backfliddr % 

applyrd to Ifraell : They that dwell imder if. 

rails fladow flail nturne. What returning < 
Returne to God 6y Repentance, this is fup- 
pofed : for thofe that dwell in (he Church 
of Cod, if they belong to God, bythehclpe 
of good meanes they (hall attaine to refor 
mation and Repentance. But ic is cfpecially 
meant of that which followes upon it, They 
fltllreturve 5 that is, they fliall revive, as a mans 
fpirits after a fwound are faid to returne, and 
things after a fecming decay and deadncfie are 
faid to be quietened and returne againe. So all 
that dwell under the fhadow of Ifraell, they 
fhall returne to God by Repentance : Thsy 
flail rcturne, having a greater vigor and livc- 
linefTe, recovering that which they feem d to 
have Ipft before. 

They that dwell under bisfladow fljallRetvmt^. 

When God will bkflfe any people hecwill 
blcflcall that belong to them, and are under 
them, beomfe they are bleflfed in bkfliog them, 
even as we are touched when our children are 
ftricken: God ftrikcs the father in the child, 
the husband in the wife, the matter inthefcr- 
vant, becaufe there isfome relation and depen- 
dance betwixt them. As it is in Ul, fo ic is in 
good, Godblefleth the father in thechild, the 
King in the fub jeft, and the fubjed in the King, 
God bleiTcth one in another. And in bkfling 
becaufe God loves the Church, all the friends 
of the Church are the better for ic. They 
profper that love the Church, though they be 




The Returning Backflider. 

not members of if, all that blefTc 
fliall be blefTed, though they be not actually 
good, yet if they wifli him well, a blcfling is 
promifcd. Sa when God blefTerh a man to par- 
pofc, he blcflfeth all that belong to him, all that 
be under his fliadow fare the better. The point 
to be handled is this, 

That the Church itfelfeyceUs afhatfow, being 

ftndowed it felfe by Chrift, who Breads his 

wing over it.Now what is the ufe of a fliadow. 

I. ItisforAreti 

i.tttsfor Defence 

of heat CA 

3* It # for Delight, If the {hades be good 
and wholefome. 

For as Philofophers exprefle the nature of 
trees, there be fome trees which yeeld ngyfome 
fhadowcs, fome trees have a hcavie noxious 
dangerous fhadow, becaufe there comes a 
fent from the tree (as Naturalifts obfcrve) 
v/hich annoy cs the braines. Bat he fpeakes here 
of good trees. Ifraell is a tree that yeclds a 
fliadow unto all, that is^allthat are under Ifraell 
(hall reft quietly, and not be annoyed with 
the heate of Gods wrath and the like, they 
(hall be delighted, having a fweet refreshing 
under theChurch. 

God in Scripture is often faid to bea (hadow, 
and his people to be under the JliaJow of hi* 
rings . But God and the Church are all one 
in this, for they that arc under the Churches 
fhadovv, are under Gods fliadow, for the 

* Church 

Ibe Returning Backflider* 

Church is Chrifts, and Chrift Gods. There- 
fore to be under the Churches to be under God, 
and to be in the Church, is to be under Gods 
protc&ion. They both agree ; as we fee ^Micab 
5.7. The Church is faid to be Dew, becaufe 
God be-dewes the Church, and the Church 
be-dewes others, and here the promifc is, / 
will be <t* the dew unto lfraetl> Where the fame 
name is attributed unto God. Chrift is a vine, 
and the Church is a vine^ Chrift is a Dfj* and 
a (hadow,fo is theChurchjbecaufc Chrift com 
municates his excellencies to her, and (he hers 
unto others. Therefore there can be no offence 
in applying this to the Church : which is the 
proper meaning of the place, for the Church is a 
(badow for reft and frcedomc from annoyance, 
unto all that come under her. 

To clecrcthis a little : what folacc and reft 
doc men finde under the fhadow of the Church. 

There is a reft and a peace in the Church, for An fa. 
all things are at peace with the Church, even 
the very ftones in the field, nothing can hurt the 
Children of the Church, God will be and is a 
Sttnnc and frield unto them ; a fhicld to keepe 
off all i!l> and a Sunne ro conferrc all good p.ais*. 
unro them. So his promife is to ^fkrahtmi 
I mil b: thy Buckler Andtlnnc exceed n* great re- GCU.IJ. 
ward A Buckler ro keepc ill from him, and 
an exceeding prcat reward for good. Therefore 
it is a fvveer fliadow to bee under the Church, 
where God is all in all to them, who makef all 
things workc for good unto them, even the 


The Returning Bickjltder. 


Job, 1. 1 e. 

SiR.VIjL greateft cvill. Now what a delightfull thing 
is it to have a refting place with them, which 
either fuffer no ill, or God turnes all ill to their 
greatgood? where God is aSun andafhield, a 
| Buckler* and an exceeding great reward^ as he is to 
his Church and Children * 

And then againe, God is about his Churches 
a wall of fire to proteft it^noc only as a fhadow co 
keepeof ftormes,but as a wall of fire to keepe off 
and confume enemies. God in regard of proted- 
ion of his Church, is a compaffing unto them: as 
it isio/0, faith Satan, Baftthounot mAdeahedge 

wt himandalltjsat be bath? There was a hedge 
about Toby his wife, children and goods, which 
the Divelt durft not enter, nor make a gap in, 
untill God gave him leave. Therefore, thofe 
thac are under the fhadow of the Church, they 
are fafe, and may reft quietly. 

But this is efpecially underftood fpiritually* 
the Church is afhad&w, and her felfe under a 
fliadow fpiritually: that i?, in regard of ^iirku- 
all evills> from the worft enemies. For out of 
the Church, where is any fence for the greateft 
ill of all, The wrtih of God? In the Church of 
God, there is fetdowne away of pacification, 
how the wrath of God is taken of and appea- 
fed in reconciliation, by the deaih and -{offe 
rings of Jefus Chtift, whereby the beleeving 
foule attafncth peace and joy unfpeakablc and 
glorious, out of the Church there is no meanes 
at all to pacifie the greateft ill, therefore there is 
no true reft out of the Church,nothing but ftings j 




and torments of conference, and as there is a 
flicker againft the wrarh of God, which burnes 
to the bottome of Hell : fo here is a remedie 
againft death and damnation: for now death is 
imade a friend to the Church, and the children 
of the Church, for the fting of it is taken away, 
fothat itdoih them more good then anything 
in the world: ending all their inifery and fin- 
nine, and opening a pafTage unto cternallhnp- 
ptneffe. All other petty ills that attend upon 
death are nothing : there is a reft from all thefe 
whatfoever: for all afflictions have afanftified 
ufe to Gods people for their good. There is 
therefore a reft and refrefhing in the Church, 
for allthofe that come iv;id_eric. 

And as this is true of the Church in general!, 
fo it is trurof particular families that arc little 
Churches, there is reft and happineflc in them : 
God blelleth all under the roofs of a godly 
man, whofoever comes under that fliadow 
comes for a blcflhg, or for further hardning; 
we fee in the current of Scripture ordinarily, 
that when God converted any one man, he con 
verted his whole family> Salvation is tbis day 
come to thy koufe, ( faith Chrift ) to Zaccbeta^ 
when falvation came to his heart, it came to his 
houfe, all was the better for ic. So the laybr, 
when he beleevcd, he and his whole houfe 
were baprifed : when God blefTeth the go- 
vcniour once, then it is fbppofcd all the houfe 
comes undcrrhe covenant of sracc. ^ftrafjam 
and his houfe were blefll d. But this holds not 

S ahvjyes 

The Returning 


alwayes, for there was a Cham in good Noahs 
family, ftill there will be Ravens and wilde 
beafts, among the tame beafts: there will be an 
ifhmAel in {^Abrahams family, a Deeg in the 
Church of luJa, a/^inChrifi:sfamily, and 
a Demos among Gods people. That is> let the 
family be never fo good, you (hall havefome 
by Gods judgement naught in the fame. As it 
is faid of leremiabs figs, the good figs w r ere ex 
ceeding good, and the bad exceeding bad. 
There isnonefo good as thofcthatare inagra- 
tious family, and none fo nought, as fuch who 
are nought there. Becaufe they are curfed and 
under a curfc, being bad under fuch gratious 
meanes : being like the ground which receives 
Heb.6.7>s. i t k e ra i n e and fhowers from Heaven, and yet is 
not the better for it, and fo is accurfed. If a 
man who is untoward were in a gratious family, 
it is fuppofed he would be better,but thofe who 
are naught where they (hould be good, under 
abundance of meanes, fuch are in danger to be 
fcaled to eternall dcftrudion. Such being bad, 
are very bad, who though they breake not out 
| to dangerous enormities, becaufeof the place 5 
i yet to have a barren untradhble heart under a- 
boundance of meanes, is to be hardened tode- 
ftru&ion, without a fpeciall mcrcie to make 
it worke afterwards. For forne who have lived 
in gratious families, though for theprefentthe 
feed frufttfied not- yet have afterwards found 
that feed frudifie after a longtime, and have 
1 ble.fied God that ever they came under fuch 

The Returning Back/li<ttr< 

a fhadow : therefore though fuch barrenncfle 
be a dangerous figne, yet mnft we not fuddenly 
either condemne our felves or others in this 
cafe. Becaufe in the things of God in the 
Church, it is as in nature, the feed fpringsnot 
as foone as ic is fowen : fo that grace at length 
which hath feem d to lie dead,after many yeares 
may fprout out. tjMowct Saint ^duftins mother, 
was agratious woman whilft he was an unto 
ward young man, as appearerh by his owne con- 
feflions : yet his mother having prayed much 
for him, he was converted after her death, and 
became a glorious Father and inftrumcntofthc 
Churches good. It is ordinary amongft us, 
many when they have gone aftray, refled home 
upon themfelves, confidcr under whatmeanes 
they have beene, calling to mindethegratious 
inftrudi ons they have had, and fo by Gods af- 
fiftancc are new men. Therefore let noncdef- 
paire, in regard of time or place j becaufeGod 
may have further aimes then we can reach too; 
but unleflc God give a fpeciall blefling after 
fuch watering, it is for the increafc of condem 
nation, not to profit under fuch abounding mea- 
nes, but ftill to be l&cPhartaks leanekinc, full 
fed and leane ftill. For the Promifcis: 


There is here a fit occafion offered to fpcnd 
much rime in preflingcare upon thofethar arc 
Governours, that even oat of love unro thofe 
that are under them, they would labour to bee 
gratious: becaufe if they begradous, God will 
________ Sj_ ___ give 




The Returning Backjlider. 

give them thofc chat are in their family. The 

whole family was baptifed when the Mafter was 
baptifed, and when any man was called, the 
whole family came within the covenant. When 
Shedem and Hamor were circumcifcd, all the 
citric was circumcifed alfo. It is true efpccially 
of Governours, there is no man that hath grace 
for himfelfe alone : God gives fpeciall graces to 
fpeciallpet fonstobea meanesto draw on many 
others. Wherfoever grace is,irisof a fprsading 
nature : it is faid here of fuch, their branches /halt 
ftread : If is communicative, and of a piercing 
nature, a little whereof will worke ftrangely. 
As we know a little fliort fpeech ofapoorc maid 
to NaamM the Afiyrun how it wroughr,and was 

fpeech will open minifier occafion of many 
heavenly thoughts: God fo sffi.ts it with his 
Spirit ,that it ofcen doth a great deale of good. 
^ But why are all in the family the better for the 
Governour that is good ? 

Bccaufe God gives them grace and wifdome 
to walke ho!v before thcip, and to fliine as 
lights, cxprtflingand (hewing forth the v^rrues 
of God which they have felt : as we fee T>wid\ 
profeffcch, P/5rf,ioj. to walke fingularly and! 
cxidiy in all things in the ptrfcd way : that fd! 
he might pIcafeGod ardmcn, jfliining out be- { 
fore them in sn holy glorious conversation in 
the midfl of his family. And as bv their ^.r- 
\ampk, f by their authority they ufe to bring 
I ail under them to outward obedience at the i 

The Returning Back/liefer. 

lead which bringcth a blciling to the family 
Bccaufe when grace is once kindled in the Ma- 
fter.he will fee all at leaft come to outward con 
formity. They cannot worke grace in thcm,but 
as the Prophet fpeakes, they may compell them 
to ufe the meanes ; or elfe not to fufFer a wicked 
and untoward pcrfon to dwell under their fha- 
dow. We know why God faid that he would 
not conceale his fccretsfrom Abraham, becaufe 
he knew he would inftrudrand teach his family 
in the feare of God : fo this may be faid of every 
one that is an v*&v*/;^, a governour ofa family 5 
they labour to tell them all things that have 
done good to themfelves, therefore they arcchc 
better for living under their fliadow. Nay fur- 
ther,not only the Governour of the family, but 
if therebe any gratioufly good in the family, 
they doe much good. Labws family was the 
better for lACob: and Pottphar, he and the .ty- 
/tfrboth, profpered the better for lofcphs fake ; 
fo Naanew that great Captaine, fared the better 
for his poortf maid. It is a true pofition, God 
ftablifhcth grace in none who are gratious for 
themfelves mecrely, but for the good of others 
alfo that converfe wich them : whether it bee 
Governour or fervants: no man livethto him- 
felfe, and forhimfelfeonely; but for the good 
of all within their reach. 

For Ufc therefore, firft this fliall be for incou- 
ragcmentto all Governours of families to bee 
good, ifnotforihtmfelves, yetinlovctothofe 
that are theirs. Icmaybe fome have no care of, 

S 3 their! 


Gen, 18.19. 

Gen,jo 17. 

rfi. r. 

The Returning Back/ltden 


their owne foules, or good. But haft thou no 
care of thy children, of thy wife that lieth in 
thy bpfome, or of thy fervants? if thou haft 
not a heart of ftonc or marble, furely thou 
wouldeft defire that for them, that thou doft 
not for thy felfe: thinke of this, at -leaft thou 
wouldeft have thy children good and profpcr. 
Labour then if we would have all profper.who 
come under our roefe, that our families may be 
little Churches of. God, that all who come 
under our fliadow may revive and returne 
Therefore out of love to thofc that belong to 
us, let us labour to be good. Is it not apitti- 
full thing, that fome who are Governours of 
others, they looke to them as to beafts, and 
ufethcir fervice, as a man would ufe the fcnricc 
of his beaft, they feed their bodies, and thinke 
hey have no charge of their foules. Now 
this is one reafon why all that come under the 
(hadow of a good Governour are the better, 
becaufe they take care for their inftru&ion and 
beft good, that they live in obedience to 
Gods Ordinances, and not like wilde crea 
tures,, ruffians, vagabonds, Cains and the like,- 
What a Grange thing is this to have a care o 
the body the worfer part, and negled the more 
excellent part,their foules { 

Make we alfothis Ufe of Tryall, art thou 
a .good and a gratious Governour indeed, then 
grace in thy heart is communicative, it will 
fpread over thy family, thou wilt labour to 
make thy children and- thy fcrvants good, to 


The Returning Back/litter* 

make all good that come under thy roofe. O- 
thcr things arc not alwayes communicative, 
gold is a dead thing ,and other goods thou may- 
c!t keepe by thee, which doe notfpread. But 
if thou haft the beft good, Faith and Love, 
with a gratious heart 5 this is likeoyle, or like 
fire which will not bee held in, but out and 
(hew thcmfelves they will, and fliine in their 
kinde. So grace isafpreading communicative 
thing: all that comes therefore under the flia- 
dow of a gratious family, arc faid to returneand 
be the better for it. Make this therefore an 
ufe of Tryall,whcther thou be a gratious Gevcr- 
nour or not,, if thoucanft fay with lojhua, when 
he called the people together, faith he,do what 
you will, I know what I will doe, / *nd my 
houfc rviUfcrve the Lord. If you will be Idola 
ters or fo and fo : b-tt I *nd my koufe \villfervt_j 
the Lord^ fo certainely there is no man who in 
truth of heart feares the Lord, but he is able to 
fay, / And my hofe willftrve the Lord 

Laftly, for Terrour, let us behold the dan 
gerous and curfed eftate of thofe that dwell 
out of Cbrifts (hadow, the Church and good 
mcanes, who lie open to the indignation of God 
and ftorme of hi^ wrath. Who howfoever 
they may WdTethemiclves in a thing of naught: 
yet it is a fcarcfull thing to lie under a curfe : and 
that foule muft needs be barren, where the dew 
of grace fals not ; for God ufu:J!y derives fpiri- 
tuall and heavenly things by outward meanes. 
They that dwell under his faadow fiatf returnz^. 

S 4 They 



rfe 3 . 

The Returning Backflideri 


They fhall rcturnc to God, aad by returning co 
him, rcturnc as it were and revive. As when in a 
fwound, a mans fpirits returne againe, he is faid 
to revive. But the ground of Rctnnw\&, that 
they fhall returne to God and come under his 
roofe in the Church.Bnt more immediately this 
is tfuejfaj Jbaff rctr-trat, and fhall quicken and re 
vive in returning. Which we fpake of in the be 
ginning of the Chapter.Oaly this fhall be adde^ 
:othat 9 that a wicked manoutofjudgemento 
he danger of his eftate may make aftop:but tur 
ning is more then fo:in this cafe a man turnes hi 
sice to Gcd and Heaven- wards, to good thing 
brmcrly negle&ed,on which he turned his bac 
: ormerly . What is turning., but a change of poi 
ture, when the face is turned towards that ( th 
backe was to before ? So it is in this fpiritua 
turning t o God : when heavenly things are in ou 
face, when God and ^/m^/^ the Church ar 
in our eyesftill, minding heavenly things 
notearthly^then we are faid to<returne. And the 
fore thefe converts mentioned in ltY.emlc y .ar 
thus defcribed in their conveifion,^/^- the wa 
tvZiott} with their faces thither-wAyd: whereas b 
fore inthedayes of cur corruption, we turnec 
our backs to God, now when we recurne, wef 
the Lord alrvayes before us In everything : this 
properly to return^ to reviveand flouriflialfo in 
returning. Thus we have heard how all who 
live under the ihadow of Chrift doe returne,and 
what ufe we ihould make of it. 

The er?d of the eitftb Sermon. 



^iq--2 v -v 
9 O >> 




H o S 4 14% 6 % 

They that dwett under bis/bado** fa 

they fliAllreviloe as the Corne^ and grew as 
the Vintjhefentth&of/ballbe&the Vine 
of Lebanon 

,., dcfire of good things is 
not fo largeas God is boun- 
tifull in fatisfying our dc- 
firs, .and going beyond 
them, as wee fee in this 
Chapter, their hearts were 
5-^/5^^- t 00 narrow to receive all 
that good which God intended them. Receive** 
rratiouflj, this was their petition: wherunto Goc 
! nnl wers, that he wcuUbeat the dt\v unto them, tlut 
tit) (IwM ^row as the Li lite, and c aft forth their 



SB*. IX. 

The Returning Backjlidtr. 

they fliould grow in all dimenfions, upwards 
and downwards,and fpread in beauty and fmcll, 
Their beattty fhatl be like the olive, and their fhteS 
like Lebanon. And becaufe he would be God 
like, like himfelfe, that is,througbly and abun 
dantly gracious and mcrcifull, he doth not only 
( as we have heard ) promife a blcfling to Ifraell 
himfelfe, but unto all neere unto him, and be 
longing to him : Tkofe that dwell under his fladow 
fl>Alireturne>they /hall revive as tbecorne. 

We are all too (hallow to conceive either the 
infinite vaftnefle of Gods juftice to impenitent 
finners, or his boundlefTc mercy and goodncs to 
his poore Church and children. The" fore God 
Co help our weake conceit in this kind borroweth 
all the excellencies of nature, and makes ufeof 
them in grace. He takes out of the booke of na 
ture into his booke what may inftru&our foulcs: 
and thcrfore fets down the growin&cftate of a 
Chriftianby all excellent comparifons thatna-j 
ture will afford, many whereof we have gone [ 
over,the laft we fpakc of was, that mercy which j 
God fuperabundantly flicwcs unto the friends I 
andfcrvantsofthe Church, Thofethat dwell un-\ 
derhisfoadowfialheturne. Now thofc that fhall I 
thus rctume, they revive in returning : for they | 
turne to the fountainc of life, to the Sonne of 
RighteoufnefTe : they come under Gods grace, 
therefore they rauft needs returnezn& wive in 
vigor, as they returne to God : which vigor is 
efpecially meant here, when he faith, Thfethat 
dwell under b#Jhad0wJhaUrettirfte. 


Ibe Returning Backjlider* 

7 bey Jhdl revive as the Corne. 
Now how doth the corne revive ? not to 
fpeakc of that comparison, that the godly arc 
corne and not chafte* as the wicked are, who 
are driven too and frq without any folidity, 
which though true, is got herecfpccially aimed 
For it is fuppoOpthst they who are good 


and gracious haveipfoftance, foliditie, ufeful- 
ncflc and goodnefie in them like the corne ; not 
being emptic chaff?, which the wind blowes 
away. This is ufcfull to mention: but to come 
co the f cope intended by the Prophet. 

They flail revive *s the Corne, In this rft, 
that as the corne when unfowen it lies dead in 
the granane,fru&ifieth not, but when it is fown 
fprings up to an hundred fold, as we read of in /- 
faacks time>who received fo much increafe.Soit 
is with converted Chriftians before they were 
under any gratious meanes, or in a good place, 
they lay ask were dead and did not fpring forth. 
But afterwards being planted and fowen under 
gratious meancs, in good company>in a good fa 
mily, then they increafc and grow up and mul 
tiple : They revive like the Cornt^. 

And then againe as it is with the Corne, 
though it fceme to die, and doth indeed die in 
fome fort, covered with winter ftormes ere it 
fpring out from the oppreflions of froft and 
fnow, and hard weather, as if it were altoge 
ther perifhed: yet notwithftanding it is all the 
while a preparing for fpringingup againemorc* 
glorioufly. So it is with the Church, which 







The Returning Backflidcr. 

fecmcs to die often in regard of fpirituall mor 
tification by afflictions, whereby it is dead to 
the world: yet all this while, there isablefled 
life in the fpirit, preparing the foule under the 
hard prefTures; of all weathers, to a glorious 
fpringing up agaiae. Therefore the Church 
hath no hurt by affli&ions, no more then the 
corne hath by the winter, which is as necef- 
faryforit, as the fpring-time, orfumtner.. Eor 
elfe, how fliould: the earth be ripened and pro- 
pared^ how fhould the wormes and weeds bee 
killed, if ikwerenot for hard weather? So iti& 
with a Chriftian, thofeaffli&ionsthat he fuffers, 
and under which he feemes to be buried, they 
are as ufefullto hiraas^ll hisromforts. Nay 
a Chriftiaoj is more beholding to aflfli&ions for 
his graces and comforts, then he is to outward 
bleffings. One, would thinke that the gold- 
fmith were a fpoyling his plate when he is a 
burning of it, when all that while the drofle 
is but acoftfutningoutofit; and theveffell fo 
hammered and beaten out, is but a preparing! 
to be a veflell of honour to (land before fome ! 
great man. So it is withaChriflian: an igno.- 
rant perfon looking but one way 5 thinks God 
negledts fuch a one,, and that if God cared for 
fuch a one, or fuch a one, would or could fuch 
and fuch things befall, them ? they conclude 
hence (asthePfalmiftfaitb) God bath forfakev 
him^ and forgotten him. And as Chriit the 
head, of the Church was thought to be for 
gotten and . negle&ed, even when he was mod 


Tbc Returning Bad/ltder 


deare and prctious unto God : fo even they all 
this while, the Spirit of God is workmganex- 
ccllent vvcrke in them, preparing and fitting 
them for grace and glory. Therefore in that 
rcfpeftalfo: Tkcj fiatl revive & the Corner. 

Thirdly, They mall revive &the Corne in re. 
gard of frntfif cation > It is true both of the 
Church and of particular graces. We fee one 
srnne of corne when it is almoftperiihcdand i 
turn dtofrorh, nothing in a manner, prcfeftfly 
out of it fprings a ftalke, and thence an care and ! 
in that many cares, God giving it a body, iixtic 
or a hundred fold as he plcafeth. So it is with a 
Chriftian, when he is planted he will leaven 
others, and thofc others and others. A few 
Apoftlcs leavened the whole world, fcattering 
the Gofpell like lightning all over the fame. So 
it is true of grace in Gods Children, it is like a 
graineof muftard-fced at ihcfirft, yetitgrowes 
up and fru<a:fics,from knowledge to knowlcdg, ! 
faith to faith, and grace to grace, fromvertucto 
venue, from ftrengthto flnngth, fron one-de 
gree to another : nothing Icfleat firft, and no 
thing more great or glorious in this world in 
jifcogrcfle ofiime, nothing fo admired of God, 
5nd pleafing unto man : as this which makes one 
all glorious and without fpor. 

O ! what can be (aid more to incourngeus 

to come under gradous meanes, to love God 

! and his Ordinances, good company and the 

: communion of Saints, confidering they are 

I fuch happy pe:plc . Thfe that arc under tbt:r\ 

Mat. 18.10. 


Tkc fine it 
fi tiitjuttf* 

The Returning 

fladow fhall returne, revive and bee vigorous 5 
They flail revive a* the corne, which doth (when 
it fcemeth to bee dead ) notwithftanding all 
weathers grow up and multiply. And whereas 
itfcem d dead before and lay hid 5 being fowen 
itgrowes : So being planted in the Church we 
fhall grow : for there is a hidden vertue in the 
leaft grace, in the leaft of Gods Ordinances, 
more then wee are aware off (faith Chrift) 
Where two or three are gathered together in my 
name, there am I in the middeftofthem. Much 
more is this made good in great Congregations 
and families. But this is not all 3 he faith j 
They (lull grow of the Vine. 

Howfbever the Church which is the mother 
Church growcs before in t he formeij words : 
the new Church that comes under her fhadow, 
fhall grow in the fame manner; They flail grow 
as the Lillie : their Branches fhall fpread : and 
more it is faid here, They flail grow a* the Vine. 
It is acomparifondclightfull to the Holy Ghoft, 
to compare Chrift to a Vine, the Church toa j 
Vineyard : and Cbriftians unto Vines: but! 
fnch as draw all their moyftureand fatneflc in j 
them from Chrift the true Vine 3 theirfweetnefle j 
being a derivative fweetneffe. 

They foallgrow AS the Vinz^>. 

The Vine we know is a fruitfull plant : as 
we rcadc in the Judges : The olive and the vine j 
would not forfake their fweetneffe to be a King : 
for it is faid by them, that they revive God and 
man, being pleafing to them. So every true 

Chnftiari 1 

The Returning Backjlider 

Chriftian is like a vine for fruitfulncs,hc is a tree 
ofR ighteoufncflc,a plant of Gods own planting, 
a vine that fpends himfelfe in bearing fruit. 

Againe, as it is fruitful], fo it is exceeding 
fruitful!, abounding in fruit, fo Chriftians are 
vines, not only for a little fruitthat theybeare: 
but becaufe they are abonndantly fruitfull, 
which is premifed : that if they doe as they 
fliould do-, they (hall be vines abundant in the 

And further, the Vine as we know is never a 

whit the worfe for pruning, but is pruned and 

cut ( as our Saviour fpcakes ) thit it way bring 

foortbtke more fruit. So the Church and people 

of God are never a whit the worfe for affli&ions: 

for asthc bcft vines need dreffing and pruning, 

thebeft ground plowing, thebeft linncnwalh- 

I ing, the^bcft metfall the fire toconfume away 

thedroffe, the beft things we ufe having fome- 

thing amiffe. So the bcft Chriftians need drcf- 

fing and purging from the great husbandman, 

whereby they are not the worfe but the better, 

having thereby much corruption purged away 

from them : as the pruning of the vine, mrkcs it 

not the worfe, but drawes wild things from it, 

which would draw away the ftrength of the 

vine. A Chriftian is the better for his;afflidions. 

wherein the glory of the Church efpecially 

confifts. For the Church never thrived better 

then in &$yp*> where they laboured to crufh 

and to cut the vine. God brought his vine 

out of AsyPt.hi all this, maqgfcc all the malice 


SB R.I X. 





The Vimu 
rugged and 

Col. 3.3. 

HffffO God 9 

vernes bft 
Church by con 

The Returning Back/lider. 

of the enemies. The Church was nevermore 
glorious in its owne feare, then it was in Babylon j 
under the .Captivity, how glorious then was 
the Church inDd#/W and others. 

Againe, to the outward appearance>the Vine 
is a rugged unfeemely plant, being nor fightly 
and beautifull to look on : yet is it aboundantly 
fruitfull under that unfightlincs. So if we look to 
the outward ftate and face of the Church, it is 
nothing elfe to looke to, but a deformed com 
pany, defaced by affiiftion, live-leffehere (as 
it were ) having their life hid ftp with God in 
Chrift, (as the Apoftle fpeakes ) their life here 
is covered over with manyafflidions, croffes, 
infirmities and difgraces, whcrcunto they are 
fubjcfl:, like unto other men. Therefore as it 
was the ftate of the head, to have no outward 
forme or beauty, though inwardly he was all 
glorious. So the beauty of the Church is in 
ward : for outward (hew, it being unfightly like 
the vine, crooked and uneven, there being no 
thing delightfull in it, unlefleit be in regard of 
the fruit that comes from it. $o it is with the 
Church of God and particular Chriftians : who 
though in outward government they have not 
that pollicy and outward glory other govern 
ments have, yet there is an inward fecret vvorke 
of Gods government of the Church by contra 
ries, which exceeds all other poliicies,wherein 
he brings glory from fhame, life- by death, hee 
brings downe andJifts up ; when he is about his 
excellent worke, he humbleth firft. ..This is 


The Returning Back/liefer, 

an ordinary way, therefore we muft not take 
offence at any outward deformitie that we fee 
in the Church, and in Gods Children, when 
they feemc to be trampled upon, they are but 
as vines, unfightly to the eye, they have a life, 
though it be a hidden one. 

It is excellently fetdowneby Ez,tkiel> what 
the Vine is of it felfe, it is ferviceable for no 
thing: we cannot makeapinneofir^ Itisfuch 
a brittle wood as is good for nothing but to 
bcare fruir. So cake a Chriftian that profcffrth 
Religion, if he be not fruitfull in his place, of all 
men he is the word: of all men he is either the 
beft, or the worft : as the vine, if it bearc fruit 
it is the beft, though it be an unfightly tree: 
but otherwife it is fie for nothing but the fire. 
Therefore let no man glory in his profeflion, 
that heisbaptifed, hearcs Sermons, and reads: \ 
but where is thy fruit? wherefore ferves the I 
WCfTing and pruning of the vine-, butfor fruit? if j 
there be no fruir, a Chriftian is the worft man \ 
that lives: worft, in regard that he is bad under j 
good meanes,and in condition he is the worft of! 
all iacn,his torment is the greatcr.Thofc that arc ! 
barren and jitfull under meanes, the time < 
will come, that they will wifh they had never 
enjoyed fuch a teftimony agai ifhhemfclves. 

And further, a Vine is fo weak? that it muft 

be prop d andfupported along, or elfe it will 

1 lie on the ground 5 iuch is the eftate of the 

Church, which muft have fcmething to fence 

it and under-prop ir. God is the ftrengrh of the 

[ T Church, 

Ezck. i f . 

^ 7 6 

The Returning 




Church, it is a wondrous wcakc plant. The 
Children of God are wondrous weake^and ex- 
pofed coa wonderfulldeale of mifery : in regard 
whereof, and of the injuries and weakness they 
are expofed too, they muft have fupport. A 
Chriftian is compared to the flrfdeffe things, 
Sheep, Lambes and Doves, and in the plants 
they are compared to the Vine, which needs a 
firong fupport, And (as Salomon faith of the Co 
nies) though they are a weake people of them 
fclves, yet notwithftanding they have a/lrong 
rocke over their heads, where iheyarefafe, 
though they be as weake as the vine. So Gods 
people though they be weake of themfelves 
yet they have a ftrong fupporc to uphold them 5 
God by the Ordinances of MagiftracyandMi- 
niftry ( efpecially by his Spirit ) keepes them 
up and fupports them, that they fpread in large 
neffe and in fruitfulncfle. 

Is this fo, then let i>s examine our felveswha 

our fruit is:if we be vines what is our fruit * wha 

comes from us ? Cerrainely if we doe not fli- 

foorth that fruic we fliould in our lives and con 

verhdons, in our fpcech, carriage andadlions 

when we are called to it, it h an argument tha 

as yet the dew of Gods grace hath never falle 

upon us fo as it muft before we come to Heaver 

As was fa id before, a man may endure a deat 

plant iahis ground 5 bur in his Orchard he wi 

hot. He may endure weeds in pnftures, in nt 

kd:cd grounds, but not in his garden. If we be 

Lillks in Gods Garden, and Vines in his O 

The "Returning Backslider. 

chard, we muft be fruitfull and grow, or elfe 
God will not endure us. Of all woes,thegrea- 
tcftwoe lies upon them, who enjoy plentiful! 
and abundant meanes and yet are notVruitf ull. 

That we are Vines, and Gods Vines, it is in 
the nexc place an Ufe of Comfort $ that God 
therefore will have a care of us, if we be fruit- 
full, he will have a fpeciall care of that place 
I where his vines are plmted, if wee fee many 
gratious perfons and families who are con- 
fcioaable in their pra<ft;ce and convention, we 
may reft afliired that God the great husband 
man will have a fpeciall care of thofe choice 
vines, and the places they live in, they carry 
the bleffng of God with them whcrefoever 
they goe, with a fh idow and prote&ion, making 
every place the betrer for them. For God will 
care for thofe vines which bring foorth much 
fruit;As it isin Efay, $ ode it not, for there is a blcf- 

be more fruitfull, Go J gives a prohibition,he is 
my him no harme:7iwi#*# mine annoy n- 
ted.nof docmy Prophets no harme. Satan himfelf and 
all creatures ia Heaven and in Earth, havea pro 
hibition to touch his vines no further then (hall 
be for their good. Will a man fuffer men ro 
come into his Orchard to break downe his 
vines ? he will not. Surely though the finnes 
of this nation be very great : yet one thing 
| tnhiitereth hope, God hath a great many vines 
under his fhidow and pr<reHon, many 
| confcionable Magiftraccs, M niftcrs and people 
I T 2 of 


Mat ii 



Cant. 2. . 

Ioh.ii. i y. 


The Returning Back/Men 

of other profdfioris$ Govcrnours of lrtlljl- 
lies and the like, which waikc holily, God 
will fpare the vineyard, even for the vines that 
bearc fruit. A notable place amongft others 
we have, Cant.^.i 1 ^. Take MS the F exes <t~dth(L~> 
link foxes that Jpoile the viw : fi r our vims 
hope tender graces. There is in every Church 
not onely groflfe Papifts, and forraigne ene 
mies, that woulc* roote out all if it were in their 
power : but lubtil! foxes alfo, men t ha* pride 
themfelves in dvelifli policie, to tnder-mine 
the Church and -Children of God : who wher- 
(oever they fee vine or grapes, they malice 
that: both the meanes^nnd grace wrought by 
the meanes 5 isthe objedr of their cruelty. Sub 
tile foxes they are, who account it a great deale 
of glory to be accounted polliiicfcemen, to do 
mifchiefe fecretly and clofely in the Church : 
will God fuffcr thefe foxes * No, hewillnoti 
Tafo us the foxes, the little foxes that deflroythe 
TO, God hath young growing vines, fo as 
he will not oncly care for the great vines, but 
for the tender vines alfo. Chrift harhacareof 
his Lambes, as he faid to Peter, loveftthoit mse, 
&c. Then fied my Lambes, my little ones. <o 
:hnft fpeakes in the Gofpcll of thefe lit le 
ones, / tell you ( o f a truth) that the Xnrels of 
thefd I itcle ones, kMd the face of my 
And fo he fjpeakes in another places 
fid reed mil hce not breake, andfmL 
will he not quench^ mtilll}et-brin?foon rj 
unio vittone, - So likewifb hecpromifS^ 

The Returning Backfli<ter< 

be will carry the lambcs i# bu bofomc, And gertlj 
lead them that 4re with young. 

The next Uf r flia!l be for incouragcment unto 
weakeones : fliviuld tender and weake Chrifti- 
ans then be diicouraged for whom God is fo 
carcfull ? furcly no. Put cafe they bring forth 
but little fruite, yet, O deftroy it nor, fora blef- 
fing is in it. Therefore let us not bedifcouraged 
if wee be Gods vines : which is knowne and 
discovered, not by the abundance offruit only, 
but by the kind of out fruit al fo ; if it come from 
the Spirit of God, and rellifli of the Spirit, 
though it be not in fuch-plenty : yet a vine is 
not a thorne, a Chriftian is not to be difcou- 
raged though he bring not forth aboundance of 
fruit at the firft. There are different degrees 
and tempers of foyle, and of ages in Chriftiani- 
ty, which isfpokento incouragcthoft that arc 
good, andyetarcdifcouraged, becaufeitisnot 
with them as with Tome other Chriftians of 
their acquaintance. Know that there is no fet 
meafure of grace neccflary to falvation but 
truth. * God doth afli^ne us a meafure of grace 
according to his good pleafure 5 and according 
as he hath purpofed to make us profitable to 
others in the ufe of meanes. Thofe whom he 
metnes to ufe for fuffering or doing of great 
matters in the Church, thofe.hec fitsfutably 
for that he meanes to call them to : others have 
not that aboundance of grace, out of Gods wif- 
dome, who knowcs bcft how to difpenfc his 
owne graces to hisowne glory. If wee allow 

T 3 not 



Tbe Returning BackfltdtK 

Inot our fclves in onr weakneffes, but groane 
1 under them, hate them, and drive againft them, 
reaching towards perftdion : in this cafe our 
weakneffes (hall not hurt our falvation; but God 
I will perfeft his power in our weakneflTe. 

. So we fecit is not the multitude of fruit, but 
the fincerity of it, if it be true, that makes a 
Chriftian; if there be truth of grace., it will out 
and fp read the branches, it fhall notalwayesbe 
To with us. Sincerity and indeavour to grow, 
with a defire and thirft after growth, makes a | 
man a Chriftian. Therefore as was faid, we 
muft not be difcouraged, though our growth 
and fpreading be not like otheis. Every Chri 
ftian hath his mcafure, though every one be 
bound to gee further and further, from faith to 
faitfr, and grace to grace: yetthereisablefling 
in a little, and a promife alfo to him that ufeth it 
well:T<? him that hath itjhall begiven.Chi ift hath 
acare that the foxes do not hurt the littletender 
grapes : let none therefore be difcouraged for 
their non- proficiency in the wayes of God, fo as 
to goe back and leave off> he knowes baft when 
and how to take away the bares, fnares and 
temptations that are fct to catch them, snddif- 
coursge them. Let God alone with hisowne 
workc, who is the great vinedrefler: doethou 
j thine owne worke, attend upon good mcancs, 
waiteupon God, and then let the malice of the 
world and the Divell be what they will, he will 
have a care of his vines, and the more care, the 
more young and tender they are ; ^ 


The Returning Backflider* 

Thefe confederations may affeftus, not only 
to take good by the vine for our bodies, but for 
ourfoules alfo, and fo the fame thing may 
cherifh both body and foule. A Chriftian 
by grace hath an extra&tng vcrtue, to draw 
holy ufes out of every thing, as the Holy Ghoft, 
here compares us to a vine, to teach us thefe and 
the like things now unfolded. The laft thing 
promifed is, 

The fent thereof fball be as the vine of Lebanon. 

This Lebanon was a mountanous place, on the 
north fide of TuJca, wondrous fruitful! in all 
kind of trees, in Cedars and goodly Vine*^ fo 
it did abound in fpice, and all goodly things. 
Therefore to (hew that a Chriftian fhould be 
hebrft of his ranke, he fetches comparifons 
from the beft things in nature. 

The fent tberrofjhallbt as the vine of Lebanon. 

Now the Vine otLebanon had a fweet fent in 
t,both to draw to the liking, and then to delight 
in the taft and taking thereof. So it is with the 
graces of God in his children, they carry as it 
were sflfwect fent with them, both to draw 
others to delight in,and taft of the fame things. 

Bat how comes it to paiTe that Chviftians 
fend foreb fo fwcet a fent ? 

Bectufe they are in Chriftj, in whom the 
oy ntment and all fweetnefle is in fulneffe. From 
him the #<Wfirft, and from thence it is derived 
unto the members, all who muft partake of this i 
ointment. As it is faid of the head of o//*r<w, j 
that that ointment which was poWred on his j 

T 4 head, 


The l&wrmng Back/lidtn 

Can.. 1.3. 

Cant. r. 3. 

Re Y.I. 


head, randowneto hisskirts, and all his rich 
attire about. So that fweetneffe in Chrift is 
powrcd on the skirts, all along upon his mem 
bers, even the meaneft Chriftian receiveth 
Grace for Grace, fweetnefle from Chrift, The 
Virgins : that is, fuch as defile not themfelves 
with Idolatry and fuch other lewd courfes: they 
follow after Chrifl in the fraell of his {wcet 
oyntments. It is fpoken of Chiift who carrieth 
fuch a fweet fmell with him, as aS his garments 
fmell of tMyrrk felloes and Ca/(a,&tc. So fweet 
is the fmell of Chrift when he is unfolded in 
his Benefits and Offices, that the pure and 
loly virgin foulesof the Saints follow after if. 
His name if as an eyntment fowrtd wt ; that is, 
limfclfe is his Name, and his Name is himfelfe 
as the Htbrew Proverbe is ) Chiift made 
cnowne in the unfolding of the Word, that is 
lis Name. When the box is opened, all in 
Chrift is like oyntment, in the preaching of the 
Word all is fWeet 5 and nothing but fweet in 
Jeius. Now a CHriftian being a member of 
Chrift, and a virgin foule followingfChrift, 
muft needs draw fvveemefTe from him, cafting 
ouuharfentunto others drawen from him, be- 
caufe they partake of Chrifts annoyming, 
What is the name of a Chriftian, but a man a- 
noynted with Chrifts oyntment, one annoyn- 
tcd to be a King and a Prieft in fome forr^ there* 
fore, they carry the favour of him whcrefo 
ever they goe. ^artn the high Prieft, had 
fweet garments, which made a favour where 


Ibt Returning Backflider* 

he went, having Bcls and fweet Pomegranates 
atthcbottomcof his garment. He had not only 
Bels to difcover him 5 but fwcet pomegranates 
alfo. So it is with every Chriftian s not only the 
Minifter, but every Chriftian is a Piicft under 
the New Teftament, and carrieth a favour with 
him, graces that fpread and caft a fweet fent 
in all places whercfoever, which they exer- 
cife nponall ood occafions : as Saint Paul ex- 
prerfeth ir, T/ry favcvr the things of the ftint. 
Thofe who are inChnft, they have the Spirit 
ofChrift, or they arc none of his. And having 
the Spirit of Chnft, they favour of the things 
of the Spirit, that is, their thoughts, fpeeches, 
adions, and cenverfation are ft voury. Thofe 
that Are in the flcfh (faith the Apoftle ) cannot 
flcafe God, they are unfavoury. A carnall man 
hath no favour in his fpceches, they are either 
worldly or civill, without fpirituall favour : be- 
caufe he hath nothing of the Spirit of Chrift to 
favour off. His heart( faith Salomon^ little worth, 
die like we may fay of his thoughts, actions and 
affcdions, they are unfavoury and litile worth. 
He hath a dead heart to goodndfc, and thence 
whaifoever goodnrfle commeth from him is 
forced and againft the haire (as we fay) But a 
Chriftian hav ing the Spirit of Chrift/tnd there 
with communion with Chrift, all his difcourfes 
and adions are for the moft part favoury, rhofe 
hee acftcth as a Chriftian 5 therefore from his 
communion with Chrift it isfaid here, Hi&fmtll 
fhall b? a* Lebanon. 


Rom. 8.}. 

Rom, (.8. 

Pea. 10 10. 



The Returning BackJJtettr. 


The fent thereof Jhall be <M the Vine of Lebanon. 
Delightfull both to God and holy blefTcd 
fpirits, likcwifc to the Church, and to the An 
gels which are about us, and pleafing to our 
owoe fpirics ; for there ifTiKrth a wondrous con 
tentment, even to the confcience of a perfon 
which is fruitfull and aboundant in goodnefTe, 
that foule rcceiveth an anfvverable proportion 
of comfort. As it is with hcate that accom- 
panieth fire alway 5 fo there is a kinde of heate 
)f comfort, which naturally accompanied the 
ieat e of any good adionrthere remaineth a fweet 
relifli to the confcience of the performer, re- 
Ele&ing with humility upon himfelf,with thank- 
iullneflc to God, from whofc Deny ( as we have 
taeard before) commeth vvhatfoever is good: re- 
fle&ing on this with an eye to the principal! 
caufc it breeds a great deale of comfort to the 
foule. As it was faid otlefiab, the memory of 
lofiah was like the oyntment of the Apothecary, 
whereas on^the contrary, it is faid, The remem 
brance of the wicked/hall rot. God threatneth the 
Jewcs,that they fhould be a hiffing to all nations, 
and that they fhould bee abhominable to all 
kinde of people ( for what is fo odious now as 
the name of a lew?) yet certainely this whole 
promife {hall be verified even of them : this 
whole Chapter having an eye unto the calling 
of the Jewes* The time will ceme that the 
fent of thefe odious people ( who are now the 
obje<5t of hatred unto ail people) flwll bee of 
the Vine of Lebanon. 


The Returning Backflider, 

rfe. i. 

Ifthisbefo, it cuts off a carnall exception of .? 
fcnfelcfte perfons, that thinke they can ftop 
mens mouthcs with this. J cannot make fo 
much flicw as you, but I hope I have as good 
a heart to God as you, or as the bcft. But a 
Chriftian is a V wt^ that brings forth grapes, 
and much fruit, and cafts a feat from him (as 
tkefent of Lebanon ) upon all fit occafions. For 
his words fhould be, of the Apples of Gold fit Provaj.n, 
wtth piffarcs offiher. He is feafonablc in his 
acftions of Confolation, and bringeth foorth 
his fruit in due fea(on,as the promife is. For Sa- i cc i,j. i i 
lomon (hcwethj that every thing is made beauti- 
full in his feafon. Thofc therefore that have not 
a good word to fpeakc, but rather exprcflcthe 
contra rie, rotten unfavoury difcourfe, vainc in 
their converfation, favouring nothing that is 
good : how have they as good a heart to God 
as the bcft { No, this is not to be a Chriftian, 
who (hould favour like Barons garments, or 
like thefe graces comming from his head to 
him : who fhould fpread abroad his fwcetneffe 
unto others, fbining out a* a light amongft o- 
thers? Therefore away with this bafe plea : a 
rotten fpeech, argucth a rotten heart. What 
can come out ofaveffellbutfuchas is within ir, 
if the iflfues be naught, what is the veffcll but 
naught? if all be unfavoury oucward, what is 
there but a rotten heart within. 

Againe, if Chriftiaai fhould caft a fent and 

favour, this fliould moove and fttrrethemup, 

if they will anfwer thtir title to be Chriftians, 

I fweet> 


f Pet. 1.9. 

The Returning Bickflider. 


T loe excellency 
of a fivoury 
and fruit jutl 

Mat, i j. 18. 

Cant. j. 

fwect, annoynted pcrfons, Priefts to God, to 
labour more arid more to be fpiritiull and fa. 
vour the things of the Spirit : and to labour for 
more and more communion with Chriftinthe 
ufe of all ftn&ifkd raeanes, that they may have 
the Spirit of Chrift in their converf anon, fhew- 
iag foorth the Humility, Patience, Love and 
Obedience of Chrift. As Peter fpcakesand cx 
hortethus, to flew foorth the venues tffnm n^o 
hath called us from darkemfft inw bit marvellous 
Ught. Then we atifwer our title, and caftfoortb a 
fcnt UkeLtbeuwfiy when inwardly and outwardly, 
all things joyne to make us frnitfullafldfavoury 
before God and man. 

What will come of it if we be fruitful! aad 
favourie ? 

God will be more pleafed in all our a&ions, 
and wiliyW// a fweet favour ef reft^ ask is ilridof 
Noat after his camming out of cbco/rfe; for 
God delights in Ms owne graces, which head- 
mtreth in us. As hee faid to the woeman of 
Canton, O vwewan, great is thy fath, be it unto 
thte as thoumlt. God as it were (lands admi 
ring his owne graces> he is fo delighted with 
the Faith, Love, Prayers and Patience of his 
children, which is further excellently expref- 
fcd intheOtfrV/#. Who is this that c&mmethup 
out of the mldernefje like fillers offmoake, perfa- 
mcdmtbmirrb avdfrankincenfc, wdallthe frices 
of the merchant ? Chrift there is brought in ad- 
miring at his Church and Children, confli&ing 
through all the miferies and incumbrances of 


Ibs Returning Back/lider, 

this world, which hinderand oppoic their jour- 
ncv to Heaven -wards, wherein they thruft forth 
alf the pra&ife of t Wr holy graces 3 which fmell 
like -fpices. Then let us not envy God, the 
Saints, and holy people, the fweernefle of our 
graces, but let our (entfmcll abroad to the con 
tent and comfort of all, that they may delight in 
thefe graces that come from us,in our Humility, 
Patience, Faith, Love, Sincerity, andalltheie 
graces wherein we rcfemble Chrift, and fhcw 
forth his holy venues: therefore for our ownc 
I comforr,and the delight of all, and to aflurcour 
felves of Heaven, and of the love of God whilft 
we live here, let us labour to be fruitful! in our 
converfation, and to caft forth a fenr in regard 
of others, which hath an attractive drawing 
force. For when they fee a holy, fruitful! and 
gratious conversion, itcafts forth a fentand 
makes others like Religon: So God is glorified, 
and Religion is adorned. Whnt greater orna- 
mcnr to Religion, then to fee a fruitful! gratious 
Chriftian, who hath ability and a heart to doe 
good upon all occasions, with an humble, 
meeke, peaceable fpirir, taughtof God to befo 
for the good and love of others? - 

There mnft ta Pomegranates with bells, a 
fwcet convcrfation with words, a little whereoi 
will doemore good to othersthen a great many 
words. A good converfation is fwect, and 
hath r,kind oVorarorie joyned with it. There* 
j fore if neither for God, or Chrift, or others, yet 
for cur owne fakes and the rcfkdion of th -t 


That a tittle 


vcr/ation n 
more winding 


SIR. 1X7 

The Returning B*ckfltder< 

goodfent upon our felves, Ictus befruirfull. A ; 
man cannot grow in fruitfulncffe, but hee muft ! 
needs grow in comfort,Peace and Joy. Nothing 
checreth and folaceth the heart of a Chritfian \ 
\ more then this, the confcience that God honou- 
JTethhimtobefruitfull, to doe good, aadcafta 
fweet favor,ro draw others to good things. This 
will comfort us upon our death-beds, more then 
all other things. Therfore in all thefe refpeds, 
for love of God, othersard our felves, which 
are delighted with the expreflions of our gra 
ces, Ictus labour to be fruitfull trees in Gods 
garden, and to bring forth much fruit, that we 
may fend forth afent likeLebanon. 

Now who would not be in fuch an eftate and 
condition as this ; as to have title to all thefe 
gratious promifes, for the dew of Grace to fall 
upon him, To grow as Lillies in height, and to 
fpread as other" plants doe, to grow upwardr, 
and ddwnewards, to be rotted as Cedars , and 
" vitfaff as Fines. The Spirit of God fets him- 
felfc hereto fhew Spirituall things by Earthly 
comparifons, to make us the more capable of 
them. The mifery of the contrary condition 
rruy well ftirre us up to feeke after the foremen- 
tioned. For what a mifery is it, to have the 
curfe of God upon ones foule, to have it like the 
barren wilderncffe, void of all grace and com 
fort that may delight others, or is fpiriruall, fa- 
voury, or favingly good ? So all thefe promi- 
fes tend to incourage us to be in the condition 
of Gods Children, that when we are in that 


Ihe Returning Back/lider, 

cftate, we may comfort our (elves, andbeablc 
to claime our part, portion and intereft in thcfe 
excellent promifes 

Thus by Gods bkfSngwc havepaflcd over 
the particulars of Gods gratious promifes to 
his Church, and all that (hall come under the 
Church^ all which fhould incourageus tagoc 
to God, and doc as the Church doih here, take 
words to our ftlvcs, anddefireGod, to takeaway 
All iniquity^ and he Ale all our backejli dings, and 
that we may renounce all vaine confidence, as 
the Church doth here : who is taught totruft in 
horfes no longer^/Zwr (lull not fave us. And then 
let us(as wasfaid) cleave untotheblefTcd promi- 
fes,that we may improove them,and make them 
our own every day more and more.Therforc let 
Os have in the eye of our foulc the excellency of 
growth jorelfe we (hall not valucthefe promifes. 
Let us confider what an excellent condition it is 
to grow, flourifliandbe fruitful! , havingaduc 
cfteemeofall thefe promifes before ha-nd. DJC 
but confider ho\v excellent a Chriftian is that 
groweth above others,what a majcfty he harh in 
his carriage^ how undauntedly he wa ksinall 
oppofitions whatfocver, as a Lyon in his couifcs. 
How he overlookesHell, wrath, death, damna 
tion and all. What a fweec communion he en- 
joyeth with God in al! the difconfolations that 
the world puts upon him. He carricth his Hea 
ven in his heart, and a Paradice within him, 
which is planted withal! graces, whereas ano 
ther man carrieth his Hell about him. 


Tie exce!/c>i{) 
of a gTQiyin^ 
l j rov. i8.|. 

The Returning Backflider. 

Wherefore let us takefuch courfes tohelpe 
our felves as the Church doth here : truft in 
God and not in man, or in the arme of flerti 5 
and be ineouraged fromall that hath beenefaid, 
to have a good conceit of God, to be fruitful! 
and draw on others to goodnefTe, thatGod, his 
Saints and Angels may be delighted with the 
fcnt of our graces, and our felves comforted 5 
that we mayrejoyce in our portion and lot that 
God hath dealt fo grarioufly to us, and glory 
more that he hath made us members of Chrift, 
and heires of Heaven, then in any condition of 
this world. O the incomparable excellent 
ftate of a Chriftian, above all the glory oi 
this world : who not onely groweth, but (hall 
row to Heaven-wards ftill; and as hec hath 
egun to hate finne, (hall hate it moreand more : 
God hath undertaken it lhall be faEfknim after 
all thefe fweete promifes and dew of Grace, 
fhall fay; What have I any more to doe with 
/aW.f,&c.The profccution where 
of muft be referred .untill 
the next time. 

* * 


tndoftfa ninth Sermw. 





Hos, 14. 8. 

>what have I any more to doe 
th Idols? Ibawbeardbim and obferted 
him: I am like agreenefirre Tree, from we-. 
is thy fruit found. 

E E Iftvc heard at feverall 
times heretofore,how God 
j&ut of the largenefle of his 
goodncfle, gocth beyond 
thofe dcfires which he put- 
teth into h is peoples hearts. 
They briefly intreat him to 
fa good to them, and todealegratioufly with 
them. Andheanfwereththem largely: that^ 
wi II be as the Dew to them, that they fhall grow & 

V the 


BR. X* 

The Returning Back/lider, 

the Lilly, andcajt foorib their notes as Lebanon^ 
All fct oat by moft excellent comparifons, hel 
ping grace by nature, our foul cs by our bodies, 
and our fpirits by our fenfes. As we have foules 
an_d bodies, fo God applteth himfclfe to both. 
His Branches [hatf fyread; bisBeautyfoatlbeas the 
olwe^ndbitfwctt a* Lebanon, 

Then in the 7, Verfe, hisgratious promife 
reacheth unto thofe who dwel uridcrtrieChurch 
Tbefe that dwell under bis Jkadow Jliall return^ they 
foatlreviveas the corne,<wdgrow as the Vine^ &c. 
The new. Church that (hall come under the fha- 
dow oftheold^ftiall flourifhasthe ancient did. 
They that dwell under hts ftadow^ that is under -. 
^/mand lfraclsfl)adowfiattreturn>W(& be par 
takers of the fame dew, of grace. 

Now this eighth vcrfe containeth a further 
gratious promife to Efbraim upon his repen 
ting and former refolutions: Epbraim (aid, 
i^Jhttr Jhall not fave us> wee will wt ride upon 
borfes : neither will we fy any more t& the work 
of our hands ye are our gods. Now what faith 
God here f (repeatiiig the words of Epbraim) 
Ephraim ( fball fay ) is not in the Original^ 
butoncly fctdowneto exprcffe what the mea 
ning is v whereas Ephraimh\&, What have 1 any 
m&reto do.e with Idols ? Ephraim fliall have this 
nnfwer, I have heard him, and otftrved him, lam 
like agrttne frntrec:frem me is thy fruit found. 

As though thel.ord.had faidjet not Ephratm 
\ thinke that when hee hath forfooke Idols^ hee 
! hathforfaken his comfort, (as though there were 


Tbt Returning Backjlider. 

no comfort in walking according to the rule of 
my Word and Laws.) Let him know that in 
ftecd of thcfc poore and bafc comforts, either in 
groflc Idolatry, or other more cunning Idola 
tries whatfoever which formerly tooke him up, 
that now he (hall exchange them for more folid 
,and fubflantiall comforts. For,/ have heard him 
(andobfcrvedhim\fo that let him fee what he loo- 
feth in parting with bafe corruptions, worldly 
lufts,pleafures and the tike,hefliall find it more 
abundantly fupplied in a farre more excellent 
manner in rae,and in the fruits and effe&s of my 
love unto him,fo as he (hall find that there is no 
thing loft by entering ftri&ly into my fcrvicc. 
And whereas formerly hcc walked in a vaine 
(hadow, in relying on Egjft, ^ffhur, And the 
workcs of hit own* hands : Now he fliall have a 
farre more excellent fliadow, which no ftorme, 
norraine, nor injury of weather can pierce 
through : / am like .1 grecne frrc-tree unto him. 
Not fuch a fliadow as thofe his Idols were, 
who could not keepe off the ftorme of Gods 
wrath from him, nor fuch a fliadow as Itnths 
gourd was, which fiourifhed for one day, and 
was nipt the next. No, ] will be conftant and 
permanent as my felfe, / will be at the grtent 
frre tree-,* conftant fhadow to keepc backe all 
annoyance whatfoever; not like the curfed 
no5*!omeflndow of ]dols,under which Efhraim 
refted before. K\xJ mlLobferve and regard him. 
and he like a grtene firre-tree unto him. ] will 
not onely be a fliadow nnd flicker of defence 

V 2 unto 


lonah 4, 5 A*. 

SBR. X. 


The Returning Backflider. 

& j 

unco him from in jury and moleftation, that hce 
may reft quietly; but hec fhall be %\fofrwtfuB: 
though the/rrtttt be not fofruitfull: yztfrom 
me is thy fruit fiund, whatfoever he is in him- 
felfe; yet this fhall not be matter of difcou- 
ragemeat ynto him: J am all-fufficient, there 
is enough in me to fupply him with:jr0w me is thy 
jrmtfowd&vkiQ take them in order. 

Epkrai.mfhaSfay, what have I W]morctodo<^> 
with idols^&c, 

Somethinke the words come upon Ephraims 
obferying and hearing of him : fo as when 
God is fecne in his moft excellent Majefty and 
glory, andobfervedashe is juft, mercifulland 
wondcrfull terrible in himfelfe^that this manner 
of hearing and obfcrvation caufeth fleft and 
blood fo toftoopeand rcforme, as they yeeld 
thcmfclves s and refigne up all unco God, feeing 
that miferabie condition they are in, and what 
an infinite diftancc there is betwixt their impu 
rity, and Gods moft excellent holinefTe. As 
we read oflfaiah when hce had feene God in his 
throne of Majefty JVoeisme ( faith hej /fr /* 
nd$ne, beMufelamawtMof undeane lips: And I 
dwell in the midftofapeoplecfmcleanc lips: for 
mlm ejts hwe (eenethe King, the Lerd ofHofls. 
Andfoof/^, I have heard of thet by the bearing 
of the care, but new mine eye feet h thce^ wherfore 
iMorre^ my felfe, and repeat in Juft Andafiei. 
, Whichindeedistrueinthegencral], thataman 
I then truely rcpenteth and turnech unco God, 
/when hceknoweth God and himfelfc to pur- 
pofe 5. 

The Returning Backjlider. 

pofcjand never cffedtully unrill then : for Chrift 
who cannot He, and is truth itfclfc> calleth this 
kindof knowledge eternal! lifc.77;tf is life etcr- 
nail, to know thee to be the onely very God, and whom 
thou haftftnt leftts Chrtft.ftut though this be a ge- 
nerall truth : yet we take it here rather for an in- 
couragement unto Efbraim, as before, that no 
thin is loft by cleaving unto Gods waies, and 

what have I any more to doc with Idols : In the 
words we may confider. 

1 . The manner of expretfiofl,with a great in 
dignation of foule, What have! any mire to do<LJ, 


2 . The matter fo hated with indignation,!* /- 
dolat ry ,their for m er Idols Ephraim({h^\\ hy^&fat 
have I any more to doe with idols v 

Epkraimwc fee renounceth idolatry, but in 
what manner is this done t with an high indig 
nation of zeale and hatred : What have I any 
mere to doc with Idols : Hee doth not fay now 
that Efhraim hath left Idolatry 9 I will fupply 
all thefe comforts that they had by Idols. But 
Epkraim loathes idolatry , therefore he faith 
What hove I any more to doe with idols ? It is 
a figuiativc Queftion, implying a ftrong dc- 
niall with a ftrong indignation. What havcl 
any more to doe with idols ? I have had too much 
to doe with them: Ihave now nothing to doc 
with Idols. It is a negation and deniall with as 
great averfation 5 and abominttion as can be 
poffibly exprcft : for in fuch queftions,the deni- 


The true ft- I 
ntunciig of fm 
mu/t bt mitb 

Tbe Returning 

all is fet forth more ftrongly by a negotiatior, 
and with a greater emphafk,thcn by any affirma 
tion is poiTibleto expreflc.So elegant is the Spi 
rit of God in fetting forth fpirittiall things in a 
heavenly and tranfcendent manner. 

Epbraiw(Q}2A\&y) what have I any more to doe 
with Idols , &c. 

Hence in that Ephraim fnall fay thus 5 and fay it 
withfuchvehemencyoffpirit and indignation, 
we may obferve in general!, 

There it excellent ttfecf the affections. 
Gbd hath planted the affections in us to be 
as the windc> to carry the foule too and fro, 
forward orbackcward: for affedions are plan 
ted in thefoule anfwerable to things aimed at 
by it. For, as in the nature of things, there be 
good and bad, delightful! and hateful!, hurtinj 
or pleafing : fo anfwerably God hath framec 
the foule to the nature of things. For gooc 
things, God hath planted affections in 

clafpe, imbrace them and welcom 
them, as Love, Joy, Delight, and fuchlike 
And for evill things, he hath plan ed aff.di 
to avoid them, as indignation, hatred and th 
like. Indeed Religion is maincly in the affcd 
ons, whereof there is excellent ufe, take awa 
tlem, and -takeaway all Religion whatfoe 
A man, were it not for his affedlions, is li 
tJWar.e. monuum, the dead Sea that never ft 
re-h. Therefore it is but a doting idleconce 
of thefe rigid men, that rake away affcdion 
much likethe folly of them/ who bccaufe th 


Wat the 

teb a/eHon! to0 yne 3 

(utable to the 
things it at 
mttis at. 


The Returning Back/litter. 

Jr.- 1 "Q _iT- 

have bin drunke with wine, do rhcrefore cut up 1 " 
all the vines. But the way were to moderjte the 
acceffc 5 not to cur up the vincs.So for the affe&i- 
ons, we muftnot root them up,or cut them down, 
but order them aright. For what doth the firft 
Co!nmandementfcquire^[r/^/7^ have Mo 
ther gods hut ms,~] But a right ordering of all the 
affe&ionsofthe ioule,/0jr, dcUgh,tr]l*todfiart, 
.and the whole frame of them tojbc carried to 
I God. For the inward worfhip of God is nothing 
els,but the excellent working ofthefe affe&ions 
furablytocheLaw, with thcdcteftationofthe is not knowledge that makes a man a 
good man,butthe affc<5Hons ! the Divell and 
wicked fpiriis know much; but they have no 
lovejoy^or delighr in them. Thcrfore we muft 
value our felves and things, as we are in our will 
and affedions : forfo God vilueth us, and we 
fliould value others thereby. This well done 
would bring us a wondrous deale of comfort, 
and flop our too much and rigid judging and 
cenfuring of others. 

Epbraim ((lull f ay J what have I any more to doe 
wi:h idols? 

Now h particular we fee here, that Ephraim 
not only lea veth 7^;//,but * here is planned in him 
a found indignation agaiuft them: Whence we 
may Icarne, 
That it Is not enough to leave fafat we mufl loath Objerv. 

fin dlfo. 

A notable place to this purpofe wee have in 
chc-Proplrcyof /A/A whar they (hould doe 

V 4 after 

* - ~ - > .. - 

PfaL zig. 1 

Reafott i. 

The Returning Backflider. 

after their conversion, in the cafe of hatred to I- 1 
dolatry. Yefhdlttefltalfethe covering of thy rr^\ 
<ven Images of filvtr, and the ornament of thy molten 
Imtgesof gold; that frail caftthetnawayoi a men- 

Thereisahatredand a ftrong loathing iadignl 
tion againlt fin, when it is difcovered in the pol 
lution land vilefiefie thereof: which aftdion of 
hatred God hath planted to drawtbefouleawav 
from any thing that is truely hurtful! te it. It is 
not enough to Jc svc fin for fome by ends, as fbre 
p* pun: fhinenc,(hame and the like: butw muft 
loath it alfo. The Prophet David when he pro- 
f effeth his love t a the law : how proveth he it - 
I bate and Morre lying. Andfoaeaine,Do ot i 
bate them (o Lord) that hate thee? tndimnotl 
gnvvcdwith thofe that rife up agsinjt thte? I hat>^> 
them with pcrfett hatred, I account tberr, mniene . 
mes. Here is hatred and perfect hatred with ab- 

TheReafon is,becaufeGod is a Spirir, and 
looker to the bent of our fpirits, feeing what 
weloveandwhatwehate:thcrforc the fa cn >h 
of this confideration draweth the foule to h & -tc 
and love with God,as he hates and loves : and"as 
much as may be to hate fin as he clo h. 

And then againe, he requireth our heart e- 
ipecully, tjuy f eme ?ive r/i( ,/ heart ^ G . 

nie^thy love in that which is good, and hate 1 

hatefirft; and what good wee doe, wee roufl 
firftlove, or elfewe fl,all never doe either of 


The Returning Backflider. 


*.__. .. . . . . > , _^. 

them acceptably to purpofe. What the heart\5 
dothnot, is not done in Religion, if it hath no 
hand inthe avoiding of ill,5t is not avoided : if it 
have no hand in the doing of good, it is not done 
before God. Therefore in true converfion/herc 
muft be a loathing of fin. 

li lfc A^r\* * A VX *C * I- * V-s **m 

Thirdly 3 Becaufeinalltrueconverfionrhcreis 
a new nature put in us 3 now the New Creature, 
which partakethofthe Divine Nature whereby 
werefemble God, it Inch an Antipathy to the 
greateft ill, which is fin,thecaufe of all other c- 
vils whatfoever, which makcth us oppofite to 
God, dcfileththefoule, andhindrethourfwect 
communion with him. A new Creature we 
know hath a ntw difpofition, and is oppofite to 
the works ofthe flcfluhey are contrary to one a- 
nothenfothatwefceitcleare, that we waft not 
ontly leave,but loath fin. 

tbowmayweknowydifctrnc, and try this true 
hatred of fin. 

Firft,true hatred is univerfall, he who hates 
ill truly >hates it univerfally in the whole kinde. 
As we fee in wicked men and divels who hate 
God and all goodneflferfo on the contrary, thofc 
that are gooXhate all ill whatfoever, whether it 
pleafure,ordifpleafurethem,theyftand not upon 
ir,they hate the very nature of all ill. Thofe 
whofe obedience and afFcdions ate parciall,they 
hate fomcevilsjbut not others, which is not true 
hatred wrought by the Spirit of God, for that is 
toiverfalltothewhok kind. 

Thenalfo, whercfoever true .hatred is, it is 




Our hatred 
jnme M,I TV I. 
it uuii uerr 


The Returning Backfltdtr. 

implacable and unappeafable there s no true 
end of found hatred, but by the abolifliing al 
together of that thing it hates 5 as wee fee the 
hatred of Satan to the Church and people of 
God, is unappeafable and unquenchable 5 no- 
thing in the world can ftay Satans hatred, nor 
the hatred of his inftruments, who hate the re 
membrance of Gods people. Therefore the 
very name of Calvin and Luther muft be put 
cut of their bookesto fatisfietheir hatred, Not 
only when they are dead, burne their bones, 
hue abolifh their memory if they can. So 
there isthc likcdifpofition in Gods peopfe to 
that which is ill. A godly difpofition ic hateth 
fin even to the death, and is not quiet untill 
all fin be aboliflied. Whereupon it is never 
quiet in this life, but defires Heaven, not endu 
ring patiently the leaft reliques and rags of 
fin: defiling that that which it fo hateth, might 
have no being at all. Thofe who mince and cull 
things, who arc fo gentle and tender towards 
their fins and corruptionsin themfelves ando- 
thers: is this that hatred which is unappeafable, 
and never rcfts,tiHit fee either a through Refor 
mation or abolifhing of what it fo hateth. Wher- 
in itis a more rooted affeftion then anger, for ha 
tred is a rooted oflFenfive difpleafure againft per- 
fons and things:andfo rooted as that nothing in 
the world can root it out. Anger may be appea 
red^ is appeafed in God, and it may and nwft 
be in men , Bur hatred is implacable, aiming at 
the annihilation ofthe thing fohated. 


Ihe Returning Backflider* 

Again, where true hatred and indignation is 

there the newer the til is to M, the more 
&c. As we hate it in it felfe, (o we hate it the 
more the nearer it is to us, as a ToaJe or any veni- 
moU5thing,theneereritistous, wee loath and 
abhorrc it "the more. So certainely whofocver 
hates audabhorrerh fin as fin( as it is a hateful J 
thing to a renewed foule) fo he hateth fin more 
in himfelfethen in others: becaufcit is neereft 
inhisownebofome. Everyman hares a fnake 
moreinhisbofomethenafhrreoff, becaufe it is 
more likely to do him harme there. Therefore 
thofe that flatter their owne corruptions, and are 
I violent againft others, as Judah agzinttTbawar, 
fie fhal be burned fang let forth and burn her, when 
himfelfchadgottenherwithchilJ.Somany are 
fevcrein punifhing of others, as if they were 
wondrous zealoinr: but what are they in their 
owne breaft^do they reforme fin in their owne 
hearts and lives^hethat truly hates fin,he hateth 
his own fins more then others,becaufe it is neere 

And fo (in proportion) he that hares fin trucly 
will hate it in his owne family, children and 
fervants, more then in others abroad. It was 
a great fault in David^ that he cockered up 
i^t donah and others in his owne houfe, whilft 
he was more ftt id abroad. Can men thinkcto 
redtcffe and hate fin in the common-wealth, 
and yctfufKr ir in their families? true hatred 
is mod coriverfant in its ftrcrgrh neere hand. 
Thofe who fuffcr dtboyflnefle and prophane- 


J 01 


fan e bate] 
fnne cbiefy in. 
wr ftlves. 



ben \ve bat( 
finmoit in ow 

SER. X. 

we Joan 

in the greateft 

i King. 21. 

The Returning Backjlider. 


\ If e can en 
\ : dure Reproofcs 

ncffc in their familics,and never check it in their 
children and fervants,they hate not fin, vvhatfo- 
ever countenance they may take upon them of 
reformation abroad, it commeth out of by-re- 
fpe&s,aad not out of true hatred. 

Againe, he that hateth fin traelyns fin will 
hate thegreateft fin in the great eft rneafure, be- 
caufe he hates it,as it is hatefull. Now in the na 
ture ofthiags,the greateft fin deferveth thegrea 
teft aboniiaation,and averfation from it. Thcre- 
fore,he who truly hateth fin, he hates the grea 
teft fin moft ofall. Thofe therefore that are ve 
ry nice in lefle matters , and loofe in greater 
tHings,itisbut hypocrifie : for he who truely 
hates fin as fin, where the greateft fin is, thither 
hediredsthe edge of his hatred, which is the 
ftronglieft carried againft the ftrongeft ill. And 
fuchaoncwillnotrefpecftperfons in evilly but 
wherefoever he findeth it, if he have a calling 
there will be an anfwerable hatred of it. There. 
fore if one be a Minifter of the Word of God,he 
will do as good Micaiah did,and will not balke 
Ak*b for his greatnefle. And like eood lokn 
Baptitt, he will tell/foWof his faults, becaufe 
he hates finne as finne 5 therefore (where he 
hath a calling to it) he will hate it prepor- 
tionablymthe greateft meafure. Good Ely in 
this cafe, was too indulgent over his fons: but 
wemuftlovenomanfonearely, as to love the 
ill in them. 

Again,a man may know that he truly hates fin 
if he can endure admonition and reproofe for fin! 
_ He 

The Returning Backflider. 

He that hates a vencmous plant which troubleth \ SBR.A 
the ground,will notbedifpleafed if a man come 
and tell him that hec hath fuch a plant in his 
ground,cindwillhclpehimtodig it up: furcly 
he cannot be difpleafcd with the party. So here 
if a man doe truly hate fin, will he be angry with 
him that (hall tell him that hceis obnoxious to 
fuch an evill which will hurt him dangeroufly 
and damne his foule if it be not hclptc furely no: 
therefore let men pretend what they will, thofe 
who fwellagainft private reproofe, they doc not 
hate fin as fin. Onclyaddc we this Caution: A 
Repreofe may beadminiftrsdwith fuch indif- 
crerion,outoffclfe-love,and with a high hand, 
as that a man may diflike the carnall manner of 
rcproving.But if it be done in a good manner,he 
that hates reproofe>becaufe hce lovethhimfelfe 
and his fin (pretend What he will) he hates not 

So if a man love to be flattered in his fin, it is 
figne he hates not fin truly. For there is natu 
rally a great deale of felfc-lovc in man, which 
makes him that he loves to bee flattered in his 
fins: whereupon hoc comes to be abufed to his 
ownedeftrudion,cfpecially great men. Now it 
is a fignc of an ill ftate of foule,to be fubjt& to be 
abufed by flattery, and to hate inftru&ton : (faith 
Paul) {Jdmlyoiirtnemy y bee an ft I hav Skid you 
he Truth. 

Asjaine, we may know what our barred to 
finne is, by our willingneflc or imwillingnefTe 
totaikcofit, ov mention ir, or to venture upon 



be fettered , in 
tlzetr jlas.. 

Gal. 4.16, 


// we bate to 
t^e of, or 
me fit; en it and 

SER. X. 

The Returning Backflider. 

\ A \\nutanan 

for exprejjing 
of our hatred to 


\ filer w catting- 
to rcprowe o 

he occafions thereof. Where hatred is,there is 
3Utward averfation ; we fly from what we hate, 
and fhunto frequent places where wee may re 
ceive offence. Whatfoever hath an Antipathy 
;onature,thatwehateand runaway from. Ther- 
forc thofe that prefent themfelves to the occafi 
ons of fin,upon no calling: fay what they will) 
they feed fin and live according to the flefli : 
thofe that hate a thing,will never come neare it 
if they canchoofe. Therefore,thofe that prefent. 
themfelves willingly to places- infe&ed, where 
there is nothiug religious, but fcorning of Reli 
gion, your common reprefentations of abomi- 
nation, pretend what they will,their intent is 
to flrengthea their owne corruption, againft 
the good of their foules 5 thisistheiflue. Thofe 
that hate fin, will hate all that which may 
leade to it the reprefentations of fin alfo. 
Can a man hate fin and fee it a<5ted ? wicked- 
nefle is learned, when one feeth ir a<fted 3 as one 
of the Ancients faith well : therefore let us by 
thefeand the like tryalstake notice what our ha 
tred e fin is, 

Onely this our z&le, and indignation to fin 
muft have a mitigation and be regulated, leaft 
like an exorbitant river it exceed the bounds : 
therefore not to follow the Schoole niceties in 
the ex^ncffe of differences, wewill touch the 
marke a little,how this zealeand hatred to fin in 
reproofe (efpecially) muft be qualified : wherin 
we muft confider diyei^ things. 

Firft^Our calling muft berefpefted, for how 

i- _ _- _ i;:.. fbeverl 

The Returning Bafk/lider. 


foever we muft carry an univerfall hatred to fin,^ 
thus far,that we muft not do ir.Yet in the difco- 
very of hatred and diflike to other s, we muft con- 
fider what calling we have and how farrc we go. 
And it muft bee done with a fweet temper, 
keeping our diftance, andreferviogthe due re- 
fpcft onto thofe in whom we fhew our diflike. 
As we fee,N4//>4tf whence came to tell Davia 
of hisfault,howhc doth it, what art he ufeth, 
It muft fo be done, as that it may appeare to be 
done out of pure zeale, that it is no wildc-fire, 
nor no hcate of nature, but that it commeth 
mcercly from the fphlt, and in much love with 
mildnetfeand pitty : in which cafe it canieth 
a wondrous authority. The difcovcry of 
hatred tathe faults cither in a Mmifter, or in a 
Ma<nftratc, though they muft be trucly dealt 
with , and have their faults told them : yet there 
muft be refped had to their place, by reafon of 
the weakened of men, As it is with the body, 
great men have their Phyfitians as well as mea 
ner: onely their phyfickc muft be more coftly, 
becaufe (perhaps) of their tcndernefle of their 
conftirutions: but as for their bodies, they 
muft .not be fuffered to perifh, nor will not. 
So for their foules, they muft have that which 
other men have to helpe them: but it muft 
be done with refcrvation and rcfpeft, as PAH! 
[peaking to Feftusthc Govcrnour, calleth him 
mott Noble Ff/iw.&c.Preifi ngalfogoodneffc(in 
fomc fort)upon ffwg 1 Agriffa:0 King &4grifp*\ 
Wicvtst tbou the Prophets, I knoiv t/xw dott 


// muft be with 
aduerejpefl& J 
tyepingof dtft+ 
ance to the par 
ty reprooved. 


. 16.1 



The Returning Back/litter. 

So we fee how wee may examine" whether, 
hatred to fin be true or not. 

Let every one therefore make Ufe of ic in 
their calling; Thofe that are intruded with 
Godsraeffage, let them know that Gods Asn- 
bafTadoursaretobefaithfull in their Meflaw 
for they ferve a greater Lord then is upon die 
Earth. Aad let them fliew their true hatred of 
ill, and the danger of finnc wherefoever they 
finde it. And for thofc that arc Governors 
of others, let them notthinke that they hate 
fin in themfel ves^except they bate fia aJfb m all 
that belong to them and reforme ic. For we fee 
hereancvideaceof converfioa : whenEpbrtm 
was cofivertcd. What have I any more te doe 
with Idols? and 2 0.7.11. There is an ex 
cellent defcriptioa of the nature of Repentance 
by many parccls.The Corinthians had repented- 
how is this evidenced? O ! BcbolJ(hvfa he) 
tkitfelfe femt thing, tkttye ferrowtd after a rod 
lyjort ; what CMtfMneffe it wrought in 
Pftii clewing ofyourfei<ves,yta what in 
y*a what feare ? yu what vehement deflre? 
what x,ult? yea what revenge? what Revenge 
and Indignation againft fin, a kinde of extrea 
mity of hatred? a hatred quickncd and kind- 
led, the height of hatred, what I*dign A ti Qn * 
Infinuating, thatwhercfoeverthereis the truth 
of converfion there will bee indignation a- 
gainftfiainour felves. As DwiJ confe/Teth 
ofhimfelfc havingfinned. Sofo0lifr waslan j 
Iwa*.** tbeAjl before thce. When he 
J fufFered 

The Returning Back/Oder. 

{offered fuch a thought to lodge in his brcafi 
that it was better with the children ef thi 
world, then with the Church of God, he wa 
(troubled for ir. But when hee went into tin 
Church of God, and faw the end of wicke< 
men, then he faw his owne fooHflineffc in be 
ingfo deceived,nnd fpcaksagainft hirafclfwith 
j ind gnation. So wherfoever there is true conver- 
fion^there is hatred with indignation againftour 
felves. As in that place before alleadged, they 
I ftnll fay unto their Idols, get thee hence : What 
have I any more to doe with you: which is a 
phrafeof fpcech (lie wing adifpofition of hatred 
to the utmoftextention.G^0/*^/W; SoChrift 
to the Divell : Get thee bebinde me Satax. This 
is the right temper ofatruely converted Chri- 
ftian, expreft by divers phrafes in Scripture^ 
By a deniall of our lufts, by killing and crucify 
ing, by pnlliog out the eye, and cutting of the 
right hand 5 which phrafes, doe they not im 
ply a great ftrength of hatred and indignation? 
when wee muft as it were pull out our owne 
eyes: that is our beloved finnes, which areas 
deare to us as our eyes,and as ufefull as our right 
hands unto us. Yet thefe muft be cut off, morti- 
fied 9 crucified and denyed. Therefore let usnot 
deceive our felves: but let us judge of the truth 
ofour converfion Jby our true hatred to fin inour 
felves and others,ar>d in all who are committed 
to our charge. 

If this be fo, what (hall we judge of a cold 
lukc-warme temper * It is the nature of cold 

X to 




How wet ma 
tome to bat 
cur jjnnes> 
Wt muff g 
near e com mun 

and a, deare 

bt of bu ex 
Exod. $1, 

The Rewriting Backjlider. 

o gather Heterogeniall bodies together. As we 
*ee in Ice there are ftraws,and ftones^nd all He- 
erogeniall things incorporated,becaufethe cold 
congcalcs them together.But where there is fire, 
here is a feperating of the droflfe from the good 
mettall. So where the Spirit of God is, it is not 
b cold as to jumble fin and fin,this and that toge- 
hcr : but it purgeth away that which is il^ 
and that which is good it makes better. For in 
what proportion the fire of Gods Spirit ftirs up 
that which is good,in that proportion there is a 
hatred of that which is ill. They arc unparaleld 
c&ions. T/hofc that love God they hate e- 
vill. Thefe that are alike to all things, doe 
fhcw that they have not this a&ive true hatred a- 
gainft fin.No,/^/># (fii&fK}) what b/ive I any 
more to doe wit hi Ms ? 

But now how fhall we come to get this ha 
tred againft fifi, and holy Revenge and Indig 
nation againft our felves for that which is amifle 
in us. 

Firft, we muft every day labour to get a 
clcercr fight of the excellency of chat which is 
good, and a neerer communion with God by 
Prayer and Meditation: and. then when we 
have beenc with God, it will worfce an ab- 
homination of whatfoever is contrary unto 
him-. Thus CMofes, when he had talked with 
God in the mountaine, at his rcturne feeing 
them dancing and facrificing to the Calfe of 
gold, what did CWofes? he brake the Tables 
afunder. Sole is with thofe that have com 

The Returning Back/lMtr. 

munion with God, who is light it fclfe, anc 
in whom is no darkncfle, who is Holincffc 
and purity it fclfc : thofc who have eflfc&u- 
ally convcrfcd with God in his Ordinances; 
Meditation, Prayer and the like; when thc> 
looke upon finne which is contrary to God 
they looke upon it with a more pcrfeft hatred 
So E fay 6. When God appeared to the Pro 
phet, and touched his tongue with a coalc 
from the Altar (faich he) Woe i* me for 1 am 
\undone>btCAtift I Am A man of uncleane lifs, &c. 
}for mite eyes have fane the King the Lord of 
Hojles. Thus when once he had* communi 
on with God, he began to loath himfelfe. So 
if we would hateevill, Ictus labour more and 
more to be holy and to increafe in that divine 
affe&ion of love. For in what meafure wee 
love that which is good,in that meafure we hate 
the evill. As it is,P/9?. 10. fee that love the Lord, 
&tf<?M;///.Infinuating that all that love the Lord 
hateevill. All thofe that are neere untoGod,they 
hate all fin:the more they grow into communion 
with God>thc more they grow in the hatred of 
all that is contrary. Let us therefore never talke 
of love to God,and of Piety and fuch like; for if 
there be any grace or communion withGod,we 
hate all fin in that meafure as God hateth;he who 
hath no zeale to reform that which God hateth, 
he hath no love at all. 

Again, the way to ftir us up to hate fin in our 
fel vcs and others, & out of that hatred to rcforme 
it, is to fet before us, whatitisinitfelfc: that 

X 2 



i loh. i.f. 

mufl fet, 
us ttfctt 

u in it felf.i 

before us 


BR. X. 

Mat. 15.41, 


e muft co 
fder the dan 
rous condition 
oj wrepentir 

The Returning Back/litter. 

t is the loathfomeft thing in the world, worfe 
henthc Divcll himfelf:for it is fin which makes 
umaDivell. That Corruption,Pride, World- 
ines,and ProfandTe which we chenfl^is worfc 
hen the Divcll himftlf,becaufc this made him 
iDivel. Let us make fin ther fore as loath fome 
s we can, and then wee {halt hate it. And let 
us prefentit to our foules, as the moft dange 
rous thiig of all, the ill of ills, which bring- 
eth all other evills upon us. This may appeare 
more ugly in our fight, in that the foulenefie 
hereof could not be expiated , but by the 
death of the Sonne of God. And confider 
what great torments he hath prepared for that 
which we fo chenfli: this proud finfull and 
carnall difpofition of ours fo oppofite to al! 
goodnefle, God hath appointed to punifl-i it 
witheternall feperation from his prefence. It 
maketh God hate his owne creatures : GOZ 
yt cttrfed into everlasting fire, prepared for th<L~ 
Div til And bis Angels* 

Andto itirusuptoreformefinina!! that be 
tanguntous, we muft confider the dangcroa 
condition that they live and die in,in whom thi 
is not reformedjEtcrnal torments and feperation 
from God. Thefe things may help to work in 
our hearts a hatred of finrand from this hatred, 
Reformation of it, with zealeand indignation 
Therefore let us labour more and more fo 
this temper of foule, that we may be like Goc 

iand carry the Chara&ers of the Children o 
God in us. There is no affcdion will diftio 

The Returning Backflider. 

guifh us frem hypocrits more then hatred,which 
commethoflove, which is the fiift borne and 
breeding affedion of all others. For why do we 
hateany thing,butbecaufeit is oppofice to that 
we love^why do we hatcill,butbecaufc it is op 
pofice to God and to Chrift whom we love? a- 
mongft others, take we along this confideration 
with us, i hat it is the Speare which wounded our 
jbleffedSaviouMndthatitisthathe hates moft, 
which we love moft. CorfidcrrheHolinefle of 
God that he would punifh it in hisownc fon, ere 
it fliould not be punifhed. 

And confider that it is the bane of all our 
comfort, this which we fo cherifh, and that 
it imbitters all things to us. We cannot rejoycc 
(no not in the good bleflingsof God ) whilft 
we are guilty of fin : Neither can wee pray 
comfortably, whilft our hearts regard it. In 
this cafe that which fliould rejoyce the heart, 
communion with God is terrible to us. What 
have I to doc to take his name m my mouth, 
when I embrace fuch finnes. The day of 
judgementisterrible alfo, for how can a man 
thinke comfortably thereof, if therewith he 
expe&aheavy doome for his fianes he liveth 
in 1 So we may fay of the day of death, none 
of thefe can be thought upon withour terror, 
whcntherewithall it comincth to ones minde 
the cutting off from their fins, and the terrour 
of the Lord againft all finne whatfoeyer. Ic 
(hould be the joy of our hearts to thinke ofthefe 
happy times : therefore there tnuft needs be a 

X 3 great 



We. muft esnfi 
der it u rbe 
bine of all ou 

BR. X. 


We mvft grote 
in tie love of 
grace &* gotd- 

Change tie ck 
jeff to its rigl 

The Returning Back/ltdcr, 

great deale offinnc andatheifme in our hearts, 
when we cannot thinke comfortably of thetiu 
For either we beleeve not thefe things, and*fo 
are plaine Atheifts : or elfc, if we beleeve them, 
we are exceeding foolifb to loofe future joyes, 
for the poorepleafiwes offinrnfor afeafin. 

Let as labour to grow in grace more &more, 
: or the more we grow in the love of God and 
f good things, the more we fliall hate fin : for 
whatfoever may be faid for the growth in love 
& chcrilhing of it to good things, the fame may 
bf faid for the hatred of ill in a contrary fenfe. 

Thelaft helpe (hall be, to place and drive 

our affe&ions a contrary way, to tranflate and 

place them on a contrary objed, when they 

arc ftirred up to cvill attempts. As when 

Hatred is Rined up, dirt&it to its proper ob- 

jeft, finne : when Love is irregular; thinke 

with our felves, that God hath not plantec 

this affedion for this objcdi 5 but to carry me 

another way : I muft love God above all, anc 

all that hee loveth for his fake. Hath Goc 

put Love and Hatred inro my heart to hate my 

brother whom I fliould love, and to love the 

Dwell, and hare God * p no ! I fliould love 

God above all, and my brother as my felfe 

and hate the Dwell and all his workes, whom 

I have renounced in my Bnptifme;. therefor< 

in diftempersoftheaffedions, makeadiverfion 

and turne them the right way. As Phyfitian: 

ufe to doe, when the difcempcred blood run; 

dangaoufly oneway. If they cannot flop that 



ing Backflidtr. 

they open a vcine to drive the courfe of the 
blood another way. So it is Chriftian pol- 
licie, when theaffc&ions run dungeroufly one 
way, then to refleft thus upon our fclves. 
but is this the end why God hath placed this 
affeion in me, Cer ainely no, he hjth planted 
this affcdion in me for another purpofe. There 
fore I will hate that which I fli ni!d hate, (in in 
gencrall: andmy ownefinnerroftofall, which 
makes me hate my brother This ihould beour 
I daily taskeandftudy, to cakeoffthc affiftions 
] where they (hould not be placed:and to fix them 
where they fhould be placed : and there to let 
them go amaine,thc fafter the better; reftraining 
them where they ftould not runout. 

Thus we ought to temper our felves, and to 
worke in our felves as much as may be a found 
hatred to all fin, not only of the fecond table, 
but of the firft alfo. The Church here faith, 
What have I any more to dee with idols ? Now I 
hate all vaine inventions. And thinke not with 
(74///o,that this belongethn ot to us,if we b Ma- 
^iftrates and called to if, to ftand for the caufe 
of the Church and true Religion. 

Wbdt have I any more to doe with idols ? 

The laft thing to be obfervcd ftomEpbratMs 
manner ofexpreffing his indignation is, 

That where love i& not rvell contralhd and 
hr^unne, if will not hold to the end, but mil end in 
eternall hatred. 

The Serpent and Hevah had fome poore ac 
quaintance together (as the iffue proved.) What 

X 4 did 


That 4// r 
fcJ leagues 
mufl trdin 

EH. X. 

Gen. j.i 5. 

That naughty 

The Returning Back/litter. 

miferable rent 
in, tie. ajfeffi* 

did it end in? The feed, of the woman fha 
the Serpents head. This aflbciation and acquain 
tance ended in everlafting warre and breach. 
So all covenants, leaguesand afTociations with 
thofe wee Ihould not joyne wich, can never 
foder handfomely together bat will end in ever 
lafting hatred. What a ftridt league was in former 
times betwixt Ephraim and Idols? But when E- 
phraims eyes are opened to fee his idols, Divels 5 
he detefts and loaths all abominations 3 and is of 
another mind 5 wfuthavelany more to do withl- 
doh?\\e abominates the, as the word importeth. 
Let us therefore beware with whom wee 
joyne in intimate league. For what rmkes 
mifer able fo much, as the renting of the affe&i- 
ons from that they were ftrongly placed on- 
when love is rent from the thing beloved. If 
we place our affeftionsffor fome b;e refpeds) 
upon wicked perfons, this willcaufe fomuch 
the more torment and indignation againft our 
felves, that we were fo foolifbto fufKrr ouraf- 
fedions to enter fo deepely where cheyfliotilc 
not. Thofe that glory ia their league wich Anti- 
chrift, and wonder rt the Beaft, thinking hima 
Demy-god: will this be ahvayfor O no 
when GOD opens the eyes of .any o 
his people, they fhali hate them for ever. 
["So wicked perfons that now are led on to 
1 this and that* wicked courfc, fljall this bee 
jalwayes fo ? Woe to thee if it bee 
but the time may come thsc thou (halt fay 
What have I any wore to do: ivith Idols, or 


The Returning Back/lider. 

v S E R 

with fuch an ones acquaintance? I cannot in-| _ 
duretolookeonhim, he tainted me, and mif- 
led me, and tempted me: now; we muft be 
two, part we muft, and I would we had never 
met tegether. Therefore before we place our 

or /-k- Li. ^.^t^/i/4/Rf wrVi^ t-ViPV K<* \vltf- 



affections on any, confider who they bc 5 whe 
ther we be likely to live with them for ever or 
not* whether there be any evidence of grace in 
them. If not,let them be two tous;for whatfoe- 
ver vanity is in the things or Pcrfons we love, if 
we belong to God wee muft bee fepcrate from 
them,unle(Te we will be damned. Therefore we 
muft be wife to prevent the danger betimes. &> 
fbraim might haveknowne before the danger of 
Idolatry had he bin wifc,and prudent 5 but ir is 
well he knows it now at length, which caufeth 
him fo to abhominate idols :What have I any mm 
to doe with lJols?Th\s much isfpoken becaufe of 
the luke-warmcnes and cold temper, neutrality j 
and halting of a great many in the world:ha v ing 
fo many finfull combinations, and aflbciations 
one with another, as if thefe things were not 

material!. . 

Now let men confider what a diipohtion 
this is, and how ic ftands with thatdifpofition 
which muft bee in thofe that are members of 
Chrift, and looke for Heaven. Let a Chrifti- 
analwayes remember what he is, and what he 
hopes for, and this will put him in a right tem 
per, i. What he is, a King, and an heirc of 
Heavcn,dri. Afccr which hee ftould rcafon 
wkh cood Nchewah, Shall fuch am*n& I flic? 

in choice ef 



i* a mcanrs ti 
prejcrve a risbi 




The Returning Back/lidtr. 

jail fuch a man as] doc this * I am redeemed 
ram nay fins and advanced to be a King, to rule 
over ray lufts,to be an heire of heaven and eter- 
nall happineffe in the world to come, to raignc 
with Chrift,and fhsll I do thus and thus ? Doth 
lis ftand with my new temper,this fin, this fil- 
hineffcjthis bafe adion and thoughts, that I am 
empted to and incumbered with. Shall fuch a 
man as I follow thefe bafe actions, wayes and 
coropanions^confider we this well, and then it 
will breed Epkraims Refolution,Fr^tf <n^ I a 
more t$ dot wtth this bafeluft? what hath it to doc 
with me? or I with it f Is this and this a&ion 
^fitting a King and an heire of heaven, and a 
new crcaturefand ifa man be in Authority >then 
let him confider what ^Mordecai faidto Hefter^ 
rt if t hot* he called to the Kingd&me for fitch a ptir- 
wfe. What if thou be called to this place or dig 
nity for this purpofe? to reforme fuch and fuch 
abufes.Thiak with thy felfe,not only in particu 
lar what thou art; but in thyplace,whatifthou 
be called to reforme fuch abufes * fuch unfound 
dodrines? toftandforGod and for the truth. 
This will breed this refolute iodignation of - 
)hr*i.m in u&yWhat have I a&y more t$ doc with idols? 
All which is for the manner of Ephrrims indig 
nation : A ftrong negation of an abhominated 
thing:JF/W have I any more to doe&c. The nexr, 
which is the Subftanct and Matter abhominated 
[Idolatrylmud be referved for fome other time. 

The end of the tenth Sermon. 

pnl THE -- ; 



Hos, 14* 8 f 

Epbraim /baOfay^batb^e I any more to d 
with Idols ? Ihwve heard him and obfer- 
Vtd him: law like a greene fine-ttee^frow 
me is thy fruit found. 

EE have heard at feve- 
rail times heeretofore , 
how gratio ufly GOD 
dcales with his people, 
alluring them by many 
free and g^atious Promi- 
fes to his fervice , the 
parriculars wherof,v*e heard heretofore at large* 
This ^.ver,hath reference unto that which went 



The Returning Back/litter. 

Before, Vtr.$. There Ephraim renoianceth his 
brmer \&ds.Ajhnr ftallnotfave #*,&c. and here 

Ephraim fhallfty, what have I any mo 

with Idols? unto which the anfweris, ., 

heardhim, and obferved him ; lam like a L,- . 

frre-tree unto him: from me is thy fruit found. 

Now in that Ephraim fi a 11 fay, what have I 
y more to dee with idols? This in fumme is 

onelythefirftpartof the third Verfe repeated 
n another manner : that Ephraim (hall and 

will goe on in abhominating idols > be con- 

ftant in his former refolution, Therefore in 
hat EpL raim . fliall by the Spirit of grace 2O 
; in renouncing all falfe confidence, Go! 
hcweth hercthat Ephraim lhall i oo fe nothing 

by it (fo; he intends here the continuance of 
time) Ihaveheardbim^ I doe hearc him, and 
I will heare him and refpeft him , and be like a 
iliady greene firre-tree to /hade hii^caufing him 
him alfo to be aboundant in fruit, Fremwetsthv 

frwt found? 

Efhalm^aU^^^thavelany more to doe^ 
with Idols : here we confidered the manner of e^ 
*rejfion,md then the flatter it felfr. 

Ephraim JbaU fay, what have I a vv m$r<Lj> 
t& doe with Idols ? 

To come therefor eo the Batter it fejfe 
fpecified (Idolatry) againft which Ephraims 
indignation is directed : 

What have I to doe with Idols ? 

In handling whereof we muft take inall thefe 
fouretogether,thatis 3 

Tbc Returning Back/lider. 

j. Falfc Do ffrie, which is the foundation, 
of Idolatry. 

2. idols thtmfelves :w, 

3. Idolatry which they tend to (for hee 
which hates Idols, hates them, bccaufe he hates 
Idolatry) or, 

4. idolaters j& if he had faid, 

What have J any more to doe with Idolatrous 
Dotlrines, opinions or conceits: or with iMs 
framed according to thefc conceits: or with 
Idolatry or idolaters ? For thefc goe together, 
nomanworfliips Idols, butbecaule hec is poi- 
foned in his conceits: zndJMs arc forbidden, 
becaufe Idolatry is dangerous, and communi 
on with Idolaters is forbidden, becaufe si Idola 
try. So that the Doffriffe, Idols, Idolatry and 
Communion with them, all thefe are pbje&s of 
Eplraims abhomination and indignation, 

Ephraim ((hall fay) what have I any more to Jo 
with Idds? 

It were to mif-fpen<3 pretious time (appointed 
for better ufesj to tell you of the abominable 
diftinftlonsofthe Papifts of Latrii ;and Pttli*, 
or to infiftupon a difcourfe of Hc-atriemfti Idola 
try : Truthes, but^not fo profiiablG for us to 
fpendtimein. Therefore we will rather come 
to (hew the Keafons, whyEfhraiw fo abhorreth 
Jdolatry ,]dols,ahd conceits of all . 

To begin in the firft place with JdoJs ^ when 
Jpktaim is tfuefy converted,- he hares them, 
! bt caufe jdols are abboniinable to Gpd ? , unto 

..J*,. t^f,*. * *, i-f%"ArtTr X/^ftirUff ^H 77J^UjV*U 


is "ftoV 

pbraimt l&thd 
unto idols* 

Bccaufe thy 

. ..hntcs 


b t u*-.tQ God 





Secaufe zdola 
try frames bafe 
tonterts of God 

Becaufe tley 
tire oppofte t 

The Returning Backflidtr. 

lates idols for idolatry is fpirituall Adultery, 
leligion is as it were a conjugall a& of marriage, 
b that a breach in religious tvorfhip, is a breach 
of fpirituall .marriage. Now the worfliipping 
of Idols being a breach of the conjugall a<5t 
of marriage betwixt God and the foale,fpirituall 
Adultery, it muft needs be abhomihable.For A- 
daltery is an abhominable filthy thing ; much 
more fpirituall ad ultery:thcrrfore( faith Efhratm) 
What have I now any more to dot with idols. 

And then againe, Idolatry frameth bafe con 
ceits of God : whereas on the contrary we 
[hould elevate and raifc up our hearts unto him, 
Idolatry puls him downe and conformes him 
to our bafc conceits. Were it ndt a wrong to 
man, to make him like a Swine, or an Ape or 
fome fuch ridiculous creature? who in this 
cafe would thinke himfelfe well ufed ? there 
is not fuch difproportion betwixt any creature 
and man, as there is betwixt the great God of 
Heaven and Earth and the beft creature that can 
be made to rcfemble him. Therefore it is an 
abhominable abufe and difhonour to the great 
MajeftyofGodtobc reprelented any kinde of 

Againe, Confider the oppofition betweene 
any representation of God , f and God : they 
arc corruptible thing$, God is incorruptible ; 
they are vifible, God is invifible : they are 
vaine and nothing 5 God a being of himfelfe, 
whogiveth being unto all things. God is the 

living God, ancj. the caufe of all life. To be 


The Returning BackJIidtr 

briefrheScripturetofbewGods hatred of them* 
calleth them dung-hill gods,and (Abclt)**\\, is in 
this booke/Mw/y y notbing> a name to alienate the 
affaftions from them. 

Yea further,becaufc God is r a jealous God, 
and will not give his glory to another. Efkraim 
therefore as foone as he commeth to know God, 
hehatcthldols,becaufcheknows God being a 
lealous God could not endure them. 

Now Idolatry is committed, when either 
we fet up falfe gods in place of thctruc God, 
or when we worfhip the true God in a falfe 


But now another Queftion may be mooverf, 
whether the Papifts be Idolaters or not > For 
we live amongft many of them 5 therefore we 
cannot be to wary of them. , 

TheAnfwer is affirmative; they arc Idola 
ters, andworfein fomc fort then the Heathen 
Idolaters were : Onely change the names of 
the Popifh Saints which they in Ptpcry worfhip, 
and the names that the Heathen worfhip, and 
they will be all one. Now names be no Rea 

How may this be cleared ? 

Firft,they give the honour due to God to o* 
thers, which is Idolatry, the religious worfhip 
only due unto God they give unto other things. 
Chrift when he faid>/ otely {halt the* ferve^ : 
excepted the leaft divine woifhip frop the 
creature. The Divell we know would have 
had him fall downe before hira : but Chrifts 


How /Jolatry 

Papifts prove< 


Becaujc thfp 
give thcbonou 
due unto God 
untQ others. 
Mat 4, 


SB*. XI. 

Anfa. I 

The Returning Back/lider, 

nfwer \s,Himo#lyftult tfawfrvty that is him on- 
f (halt thou religioufly proftratethy felfe unto; 
> that religious worflap is proper to God only. 
^Jow this they give to Saints, for they pray to 
iem>which is a religious worfhip. 

But they obje&,that they pray not dire<5Hy to 
iem:but to them as Mediators, that they may 
>ray to Chrift for them. 

Firft, they raife them above their degree to 
make them mediators,and fo dethrone Chiift of 
lis office of Mediator, at lead joyne copartners 
with him. 

But this is notalljthey pray diredly eo Saints, 
o help them againft feverall Hs (as they have 
eycrall Sainr$j for feverall evils) whatfoever 
hey fty who arc not afhamcd of lying to further 
heir defignes, yet their books and writings doe 
cftifie the contrary, 

Then againc they vow to Sainfs, as in the 
forme of their vowes is feene: I vow to thc^> 
Virgin <JMary,Stc. Now a vow is a religious 
a<Sl. They vow to Saints, and burne incenfe 
unto them, crca Temples, andfct apartdaiei 
for their worfhip, and fo breake all the foure 
Commandcmcntsofthe firft Table. In a good 
fafhion it is not unfit to remember them, that 
their memoriall may be kept: but we arc not 
to worfliip them. 

And befides Saints, they have other falfi 
gods: for their head of the Church is an ab- 
hominable Idoll, unto whom they afcribc tha 
which is proper unto Chrift, to be the heac 

Tbt Returning Backflider. 

oftheChurch, which nach no influence from 
him, but all from Chrift the fpiricuall head 
thereof. Therefore the Apoflle complained* 
of fuch : who hold net the head, &c. Thofe of 
theRo.nifh Church, beUvotthcbetd, hold not 
Chrift, bccaufe they attribute that to Saints 
and men, which is" proper to Chrift oncly. 
They make the Pope the judge ofallcontro- 
verfies, who mnft give authority to the word, 
and determine Scripture to be Scripture, what 
afharnefull thing is this to make him judge of 
the Scriptures which muft judge him at th laft 
day * A pinfull thing it is, to fee *m#* *f finnt 
goe about to judge the righteous law of God, 
and to determine of that which muft ere long 
deter mine him unto eternall torments, without 
particular repentance. Yet being fpiritually 
dmnke,this folly they are given too, that they 
will be judge of that which muft be judge of 
them.Many waies they make him an Idoll,afcri- 
bing that to him which is proper to Chrift. 

So likewife, they make their Sacraments 
to be Jdolss for they afcribe to the water in 
Baptifme power of conferring grace. Now 
grace is Gods creature onely, for all the Crea 
tures in Heaven and Emh cannot conferre 
the leaft dram of grace ; it is a thing of Gods 
making. Now to raife an element to conferre 
grace, and then to truft in it, ex opcre ofertto 
for the conferring of it, is to make an IM of 
it. And for the Bread 5 noneofallthe//^<wj 
ever had fuch an abhominable iJoS as the 

Y Maffe, 

Col. 2.1 9, 



Tb? Bread in 
tbe Lords $ut* 

-J 4 




The Returning Backflider< 

Mafle,abrcadcngod:for they worfliijppcd living 
creatures, and there is not the worft living crea- 
ture,but it is better then a peece of brcad;and y et 
they worfliip that>for(by their ownc confdfion) 
if the intention of chc Prieft be no? to the afHon, 
there is nothing but bread. How may the minds 
then of men be tormented, when they may or 
(hall thiflk,perhaps the Prieft hath no f uch inten 
tion? and fo are in danger of Idolatry. For, 
faith the P/tlmtSt, Their firrowesfoatt be mnltifii- 
edtbat haften after Mother god&c. So cerrainely 
theforrowes,andfcruplesofthofethat are Ido 
laters (ball be multiplyed, they cannot but bee 
much tormented in foulc fometimes.O/<r him- 
felfe a forward Jefuire acknowledged, That if 
(ufon the words o/ConfecrAtion) the Bread bee n& 
turned andtranfubftantiated i^to the body ofchrift, 
wearetkemottabhominable Idolaters of the world. 
But we make the <JMmor and ^JJumption (long 
fince proved by the late worthies of our Chcrch) 
but there is no fuch tranfubftantiaring of the 
Bread into the Body of Chrift : therefore by 
their owne confent they are the moft abhomina- 
ble Idolaters of the world, worfe then the Hea 

And in their equalizing traditions (which 

are but the inventions of mans brainej with the 

Scriptures: They commit Idolatry, in that 

they make their very Church an Idoll. But 

what fliould we fpeake of their Church, when 

j they have the Pope who is their Church ver- 

I tually : for what is faid of the one may be faid 

1 of 

The Returning Back/lMer. 

of the~other. When they come to the ifluc, 
the Church is nothing but the Pope; whatfo 
ever their Church or Counfels fay, heels the 
whole Church. Many way es they are grofle 
Idolaters, efpecially the common-people: 
for though they fay they give not Latria, wor- 
(hip to the Image, but Dulit, fervice. But 
can the common-people diftinguiflh, whogivc 
wo; (bip to all alike . To fay we worfliip notthe 
Image, but God before the Image, was the 
Heathens cxcufc, as we may fee in t*4r*0J**r. 
Can rhe common-people diftinguifli? no, for 
they are ignorant Images thcmfelves, in this 
they are worle then the Heathens, becaufe they 
have more light^ and ftill the more light, the 
more fin. For they have bin fore-told, that the 
whore of Row fh :>uld be the mother of all for- 


in regard of Idolatry , the mother of all thefe ab- 
hominations.Now for them who have bin fore 
warned hereof,and info much light ftill to con 
tinue Idolaters, and perfift in falfe worfhip, is to 
be worfe then the Heathens, who had not the 
like light and warning. 

But what is the reafon that they are fo impu 
dent and audacious? 

Firft (toanfwerwith the Scriptures) they are 
drunke with the whores cup, and we know a 
drunken man dares doe any thing. 

And then againe, (as the Pfalwifl fpeakes) 
becaufe thofc who worfliip Idols become 
blockifli and ftupid like unto them, for an I- 

Y 2 doll 

Revel, 1 7. ? 

Anfa. i. 

Revel, ij. i* 


Gen. 3 9. 

Rom* 109, 

The Returning Back/litter. 

doll is a blockifh dead thing.So Idolatersare flu. 
pid dead things in a fore, who are fcldome con 
verted 5 partly becaufe t hey are drunke,and part 
ly becaufe they are fiupid, like the Idols ihcy 

- If this be fo> as it is too true to the eye of 
the whole world, then how ought we to blcfTe 
God> who hath brought us our of this palpable 
JEgyptiw darkentfle, 01 1 r.f fpirituail $odome^> y 
as Lot was out of that Sodome : O we cannot 
be thankfull enough, nor ought we to df fire 
to returne to Sedmt agame, or unto JSLgypt.. 
Where then is place left for neutrality ? t^ofe 
neutersthat will be of neither Religion? Is fuch 
a difpofition from the Spirit of God, which ma- 
keth E fa aim {ay here^/W have J any more to doe 
with idols ? Ephraim would not be a neuter } ther- 
forewhat fliall we fay unto them that prefent 
thcmfelves totJMaffcs in thdir travels efpecially; 
is this to fay with Epbraim, what have I any more 
to dawitb Idols ? we muft believe with the heart, 
and confeffe with the mouth to fal vation:ifa man 
might efcape with having his heart to God- 
wards and his body proftrate, where were 
confeffion? In Ely as time, God told him, that 
there were left fevcn thouftnd in //w/ 3 who had 
not bow ed the knee to $W 5 that is,who made no 
bodily proftration. Therfore as the Papifts doe 
not joyn with us/o neither ought we with them, 
if we hold the contrary Religion fiilfe: in this 
cafe we fliould not prefet our fclves with them 
in any fervice* 

The Returning Backflider. 

Againc,if this betruc,what do we think of re 
concilers of Religions thing impartible, as the 
Apoftlefbeweih, For what communion t;*tb C 
with Belial? Chrift wth Anticbrif? what commut, 
wtfThc Qwrftion is a ftrong negation, as that o 
krMrn \\cic.Wbat have I not* any mere to do w 
\Idols ? 

But fome may fay we differ from them one! 
in circumftance. 

We may aske any man who hath brains in hi 
head, whether Jdolatry be a circumftancc or not 
it being cleare that they arc as great Idolaters a 
the Heathens in many inftances. If any affirme 
that Idolatry is a cncumftance,thereisnodifpti 
ring with fuch a one. That which is the fin which 
makes God abhorre and defert his own people 
isthat a circumftance? is that a circumftance 
which is the chicfe fin againft thefirft Table 
Granting that they are Idolaters,thac the Pope is 
Antichrift>zn& Rome to be Babylon, and Babylon 
to be the mother of all formcatton. Thismuft 
needsfollow, that there can be no reconciling 
ofthefe two Religions : we may come neare 
thcm,and become Papifts, but they will never 
comeneere us to be good Chriftians. 

Againc, if this be fo that Popery be Idola- 
try, and that we muft beware of all Idolatry, 
let us take heed therefore thar we have nothing 
to doc with them more then we muft needs. 
Convcrfewith them in our callings wee may, 
becaufe fas an ancient Father faith ) we be com- 
poffcfTors of the world, and not of Religion : 

Y \vej 





Ifa g o. * a. 

Returning Back/Itder. 

we muft go out of the world if we will not have 
to do with them fometimcs in the places where 
we live, butamity is very dangerous with fuch; 
the Scripture runs much upon ir^fhould we love 
them whom God hates. It was Eves faulr, that 
\vithout a calling flie ventured to talke with the 
Serpent, we flioald therefore fhun converfing 
and parly with them as much as may be. As 
there were railes fet about Mount Synai^ to keep 
offthe people from touching the Mountaine ; 
fo God hath fet hedges about the fecond Com- 
mandementjto keepe us off from offending in it: 
as it was ufuall with God in this kind. As when 
he would keepe them farrc from murder , he for 
bad them to kill the damme vvith the young, 
and not to feeth a kid in his mothers milke, 
oqcly to reftraine them from murder that ab- 
hominable fin 3 fuch precepts the lewes call 
the hedges of the Commwdcmznts. So for Idol A. 
try, the Scripture would have us bate the gar 
ment Dotted with thcfltfa to defile the Coverings 
of the Images - y to account them as A menftruou* 
cloatkjStc: <&&to have mthmg to doe with thz^> 
twfrttitfull werkes of darkeneffc, To hare all 
monuments of Idolatry . As (^fttgtffwc faith of 
monumentsi^j monument wovssandftirs uftht-j 
?^/W.So any thing that may move or (litre us to 
1 Idolatry, we fliould abhorre and keepe a farre off 
from it. 

And therefore the Comrnandements are fet 

downe inthehigheftpirchofthefinne, tefhew, 

chatwefhould avoid all the degrees under that 


The Returning Baekflider. 

which icadsto fo great a breach, and that we 
fliould hate all thofc Acps and leadings to the 
finne it felfe. We fliould therefore bewareot Po- 
pift writers,and do with them as was done with 

, 1 i 1.,. :... *Vi*i , J ft* . Kiirn^rhrm all 

piln wiKvia><u* vw \ \ \ 

the Magick books in the ^fif, burne them 
Icaft they corrupt our felves and others. Learnc 
we this of the Papifts,who httc our books, burn 
chem,orlockethcmupfafe: yea hate the very 
Names of Lnthtr and Ctlvitt, much more their 

books. 1 * u 

In this cafe it is with the foule or man,as witl 
water .that reliiheth of that foyle through which 
Yfun?: if it run through a hot foyle, as bathes 
through ^ fulphury {oyle,ittaftsofthat. So the 
fpirltof amantaltsof thofc authors hee runnes 
through.Thcrforefuc^who converfe much in 
popi(h writings <unlefle Miniflerswho have a 
calling that way to confute them) are in danger 
tobe enfriared by them* 

And then againe,if we muft hate all Idolatry, 
we muft take heed of occafions. Not like 
fomc loofer Chriftians, which make no matter 
of crucifixes: how doth the Spirit of Efhraim 
here agree with fuch ! a crucifix is but a tea- 
cher of lies, rcprefentingonely the ourfide and 
ffi^falfly^fotthoic is no expr.flim in Scrip 
ture what kind of man Chviii was. And if 
ih-rcwcrc, yet the Apoftlcfhcweth, Mat we 
mtft now no more how him any more after //;o> 
flefk: Notasluchaman, as tall and iaire,^. 
But know him asthe Mediator, as Kmg of Hea 
ven and Earth, avoiding all lewd bafcconccits 

Y 4 5l 

Ad. 1 9, 1 9, 

That a mans 
jpirittafts of 
the dutbws he 
is mo ft confer* 
font in > 


i Cor, 10. 1 4. 

; T to more clofe 
Idolatries oj 

jld-vt falfe 
\jconcepiions of 

An fa. i. 

We ir-ujt not 
io*ct;veo f God 
06 of a j.nit 
e fence. 

We muft ton 

&f -ue oi -Go 
d-ftin?u fljc i in 
three fero. is 

The Returning Backjlider. 


r ee mufl KOI 

ntbeut thrift 

of him : people in this kind arc too bold,and rim 
oo neere Popery. A Father faith well,2V0 man If 
afetkat##eAret0 danger. We arc commanded i 
to fly from Idolatry , we muft not come neare the i 
pits brinke, Icaft we fall in 5 runne and flic from i 
it as from a Serpent, dally not with the occafi- 

But to leave this grofTc/^/^ry, to fpeake of 
fomethiog which more neerely concerneth us, 
and which we arc prone to : though we hate 
thefc grofTe ]dola rits, yet there be (ome we are 
morcneerly addi<9:ed to : as> 

Firft of all, there is a pronenefle in us in our 
wor(hip to conceive falfc conceptions and ideas 
otGod, andfoinplaceofworfhipping God, 
weworihipan/^ofourown brain. 

It may be faid,Howfliall we conceive of God 
wh^n we worfliip him ? 

Firft of all, Negatively, do notdiflionour God 
in imagining any chara&er of an infinite incorn- 
prehenfible God,but conceive of him^as an infi 
nite cflence. 

And then conceive not abfolutely of God, 
but of God diftinguifhed in three Perfons, The 
Fithcr, Sonne, and HolyGhoft, or clfewee 
conceive an Idoll. For there arc three Perfons 
in one common nature, and in our Prayers 
we rnuft not conceive the Natute without the 

In the third p!ace,we mnft not in our Prayers 
conceive of God without Chriftthe Mediatour. 
For even as God was onely to be knowne andj 
^^ fpoken / 

The Returning BaclJIidcr. 

j ~ 


fpokentotowards the Tabernacle :fo Chrift is 
the Tabernacle, now where God rnanifefts his 
gratious prefence,and will be worfhipped in him 
the Mediator.For God considered out of Chrift 
is a confuming fire : without Chrift no convcrfe 
with God, Let us therefore take Chrift along 
with us,when we go to God,go to him by God 
in our Nature^our Immanucli r j and fo we fhall con 
ceive of God aright, and not worfhipan idiU of 
our own brain. 

Againe, there is another thing which is a 
common abufe among Chriftians, wherein 
they come nccrc to Idolitry, when they tranf- to tra*s 
forracGod ^obelikethcmklvcsin their affedtv ?^5 
ions, as it is the property of all unregencrare 
men to doe fo. Idolatry is fo naturall it cannot 
buttransforme God to be like it fclfe, as for 
inftance, A man that is not a gratious man, in 
the pride of his finncfull courfe, thintes that 
God is like unto him: Ttou tlwrbtctt that Two* 
like un o :hy felfe : therefore I rviU come A^ainft 
re. As opp c-flors and fuch wKo grow 
by il! courfcs, they ; jnftifie this rimch : 
would God ktmr alone if he did not aprtoove 
of my courfes ? fo they mrke God like thtm- 
elves.And fo the good -fellowes oi the world, 
hey make God to allow all their difToluteneffe, 
>ec3ufehelcts thtm alone. So thole that are 
lerce and cruell by nature, who delight in 
cruelty, vexation and blood, they transforms 
God as though he drlightcd in fuch things, and 
make him a God of blood. So others tranf 

.,.,. ... forme 




;i *\ 


for me God co be all mercy: this is to make God 
an I<i0iiandas ill as if they transformed him in- 
!p this, ancjth^creaw^orfothen tbcffeatfas] 
ip regard oftheir light uoder the Gofpell, yet 
tnisisthedifpoiicton of many Chriftians now a 

What was the reafqn why the Heathens wor- 
fhipped Sacchw and ^%, fuch ablaominabk 



It u Idolatry 

tsfet fomwba 
up above God 
in our fettles. 

T^ Returning Backjlider. 

They fo countenance their lufts and drunken- 
effe deifie them $ an abhpminablc fin of the 
Heathqn,fpr which God gavthem up to othei 
fins.t)otjyiot our fin come neare theirs, when 
we make, God to countenance our fin, and cite 
Scripture for it,as if God did countenance fin in 
his W9rd,this is to transforaic God into our own 
abhopiinalble , conceits. Thpfe therefore- who 
blcilethemfelvesinanyfinfullcourfe, they are 
-jmlty of Idolatry in the worft kind that may be : 
oritisasiiltocransformeGod to allow offuch 
cour^asfotransformeClirift to die for /uch 
who goe on in thtir fins without remorfc, orfo 
transform him into the likcneflTe of fuchand fuch 
vile creatures. 

Further there is another fort of Idolatry 
Chriftians are fubjeft unto, to fee up 

. f J **f AV^ilJV.,* 

what in their hearts higher then God,, there 
is no man without grace, but he dothfountiSl 
his convciiion. Nay, when a man is conver 
ted, he is prone to this, to Idolize and fet up 
fotnething above that which fliould be in the 
;coi. i.f, heart. Hereupon twi. caileth ^ Cowtwfneffij 

The Returning Backflidtr. 

. becaufe a covetous man i 
-thofc affedions upon his ownc wealth, which^ 
.fhould dwell in God : for, be faith to the wtdgt-j 
of gold, ttiott art my confidence^ thinking his wealth 
(bail bearc him out in any ill caufe whatfoever. 
And then againc, that time which he -flibuld 
fpcnd in thinking of God and of abctrer life,he 
buricththofethonghtsinhis rnuck and wealth, 
toylingand moyling in the world, when hee 
fliouldiervcGod.Tlnusthe covetous man fe an 
Jdolater. ; -^ 

And there are fome guilty of Idolatry like- 
wife in another kind, fuch as have mens perfons j 
too much in admiration; that deifie them, efpe- j lave mens per. 
dally ifthey be in great place, fuch who -wiUJ> wr mttcb 
offend Godbeforerhey will offend thbm, and 
whereas for Gods glory they Ihould deny 
themfclvcs: they deny themfelves and 1 make 
themfelves fooler for men 5 andto-pleaferfierti 
by whom they hope to rife, deny both wit^and 
hcnefty. This is abhomuuble Iddlatry, and 
fuch are as farre from Heaven and falvatioA, as 
thofe that fall before an Idoll y if they repent i 
ftef., O I, if thefe men that.ftady to pleafej 
men and deny themfelves for them, would bei 
ascarefull to pleafe God as they have beenej 
topieafemen, how happy, and what excellent, 1 
Chriitians would theiy be. As a great, manj 
pleafer in his time faid; fad fef.veJ* 



time $ God btd not left him fiin hu old <yc&ri$ 
To fet up any man Ib Jbigh ia our afftCtionSj, 



, - P*ftj*g 

Cbrift wit not 
(vfftr *ny tUng 

The Returning Backjlidtr. 

as for him to deny our felves, cracke our con_ 
fcicnces, and doc things unlawful!, will bee 
miferyintheend. iflpleafe men (faith Paul) 
I am not the fervant of Chrift. He mcaneth 
finfull pleafing, for there ought to be fervice 
and refpe<5l, due honour muft be given unto 
thole who carry Gods Image, our Governors 
yea great rcfped: and honoured nothing in this 
kind can be too much 5 but to goe beyond our 
bounds herein,is to commit Idolatry. As the ffc*- 
then did, when the government of ^ was tur 
ned into anEmpire^fcnne of their Emperors were 
raadegodsby them after Augujtw time, whcrin 
they coulci not have devifed to have done them 
greater .wrong,forrhcy all came moft of them ro is ill for any man to have God 
hiscomvall,fornogrea:er mtfery can befall a 
man then to be fee up in Gods roomc, fo to rule 
a mans honcfty^lUnd ronfciencc at his plea- 
furcsfor God is a jealous God, and will not en- 

And (bin the nexr place, they frame Chrift 
an IdoO, in taking him without his crofle- thev 
will be of the true Religion, but when they 
come to fuffcr any thing, if it be but a frownc 
a reproach or difgrace, they give out and fall 
backe. Such they frame to themfclves an / 
m ; a felfc Chrift : for the kfiOwledge of 
Chnftis never without the Crofle, fomecrofle 
or other, fome perfection or other in fome 
?.* kmde. <^!( Uwhe will live godly i,, chrtft fag 
fuffer ferfecMo*. A man may live godly, and ; 

^.- not 

The Returning 



Idolatry u com 

not fuffer perfccution,but he that will live godly 
in Chrift 5 foas he (heweth his nature to be altc- 
redjCarrying an Antipathy againft all falfe cotir- 
fes, and fo as the world may conceive that hee is 
fuchanone, itisimpolfiblethat he fliould live 
in the world without pcrfecution: becaufehee 
(bill mcete with thofc that are of an oppofirc 
difpofition. Therfore to frame a fmooth Chrift, 
all comforr , is to frame a falfe Chrift and a 
falfe Religion, to frame an Idoll that hath no 
truth in ir,that never was,nor never will be to the 
end of the world. 

Againe, unconverted perfons Cefpecially) 
are prone to another Wolatry, to fee up their j 
owne wits and wils inftead of Gods. So as \ferupour 
there is not a greater enemy to Religion then 
our owneconcnts and wills, which will have 
a modell of Religion of our osvne braine, 
which muft ftand, let what will come of it. ! 
This isthe fault efpecially of great learned per-, 
fons,who take upon them conceits and ap-1 
prchenfions of things 5 and then tfote upon! 
thefe brats of their owne braine. And fo for j 
will, to have our owne will in all things, as the j 
fpeech is, tjty mind to me a kingdoms is : J will ! 
have my will whatfoever come of it. This is I- j 
dolatry,for whofoever will come to Heaven, 
mufl deny his will: The firft IcfTon in Chrifts 1 
Schoole is felfe denyall, Dcniall of wit and 
\vill,to have no more wit and wifedome, efpcci- 
ally in divine things then God will teach usrand 
no more will, which isdiftindand oppofite to 

wits and iviif 
it/teed oj 

Mu . 


The Returning Back/lidtr. 

Idolatry u com 
mittti by truft- 
ing t9 the per 
formances and 
of Reli 

Chrifts will, but td bring our wils to his in all 
things. When men will goc about great af 
faires, and fct upon things in their owne wk 
and ftreng^h, never praying nor depending 
upon God for ableffing, this is a kind of Jdoli- 
zing of parts, toworkc out things by pollicy, 
ftrength,wits and parts. As that Heathen Atheift 
could fay,tf cowar ds pray if they will: but his 
fuccefle was anfwerablc.So is it not the common 
Athcifme of the world 5 they goe about things in 
confidence of their wit and parts>and fo hope to 
attain a glorious iflTue: whereas God who over- 
throwes Babels 9 takes delight to confound all 
their dcvices,it is his daily pra&ice 3 To fend the 
rwhcmfty aw ay >Afld ex alt the humble and meckz_j. 
Thofe who fct upon things raflily without pny- 
cr,as though they were Lords ofall,and without 
dependance upon God, promifing themfelves 
good fucccffe, they make Jdols of themfelves : 
as a proud man is an Jdoll, hee worfhips him- 
felfe, whilcft heelcanestohisoivne wit, plots 
and part* carnall men thus Idolize them 

Againe, you have fome who are none of the 
worft, whocommit this great finne of Idola 
try by trufting to the oxicward performances 


and taskcs of Religion, thinking that God muft 
needs be bound unto them when they have 
done fo many taskes, read and praid, r heard 
fo many Sermons, or done a good deed. But ! 
here lyeth the fpirituall fubtilty, in that they j 
fct up thefe things too high, when if they find j 


The Returning Btckflider. 

j not that fuccefle they lookc for, then they in 
I wardly murmur againft God : when rather al 
thefe things {hould be done with a fpirit of Hu 
militie and fubjeclion.ufing them only as mean 
whereupon we expeft Gods blefling, craving 
his nfliffance and ftrength to doc them in a he " 
and a felf-denying manner: when we docother 
wife-, and truft to the outward taskes and per 
formances wee doe , wee make them Idols 
And you have many thatgo along with outwarc 
performances, who never come to a dram 01 
grace, becaufe they truft to the outward per 
formances, and looke not co the life and foulc 
of them, which is the Spirit of God alTifting 
qiiickning,ftrcngthning,blcflingthem. The life 
of a Chriftian is a perpetuall dependence upon 
God intheufeofmeancs; and not an Idolizing 
ofthem, to be careltfle when he hath done his 

But a more fubtill JdoJatry then this is of ano 
ther kind,vvhen we truft too much to the workc 
of grace,and rely not upon GodinChriftin the 
matter of juftification and acceptation to lifee- 
vtrlafting,\vhich is a fault both, 

1. Before, 

2. After Converfion. 
Firft,beforeCor>veifion. When wee thinke 

we have not done fo mach good, and beene 
efficiently humbled, and therefore that God 
will not be mercifullto us: As if Chrift rnuft 
ake us with dowry of good deeds, or elfe hee 
cannot, whereas all grace is promifed, upon 



// u idilany 
i to twft to 
the &or{e of 

olije everlafi 

J3 8 

Tb* Returning Back/Ufa. 

our entry and comminginto the Covenant of 
grace, upon our believing, when we come with 
empty hearts and hands : The poor e(fa\th Chrift) 
receive the Goftell, and thofe that are loft, Christ is 
fentto fave them, and to call in the weary and heavy 

AndafterConverfion; thofe that are in the 
ftate of grace oftentimes want that comfort 
in the maine point of juftification and accep 
tation to life cverlafting which they fhould 
lave: becaufc they looke into their imper- 
fe&ions, feeing this and that want, and fo are 
fwallowedup of dif comfort 5 whereas if we had 
all the graces in the world, yet we muft live by 
Faith,relying upon the merits of Chrift. For 
our good workes bring us not to Heaven as a 
caufe, but onely are helpes and comforts to us 
in our walking to Heaven. For if wee had all 
the finnes of all men, yetChrifts all-fufficient 
RighteoufnefTe is fufficient for to do them all 
away, if wee can goe out of our fdves, and 
cleave to that. Therefore in trouble of confci- 
cnce* we muft not looke cither to our good or 
our ill, but to Gods infinite Mercy, andto the 
infinite fatisfa&ion of our blcffed Saviour the 
Lord Jefus Chrift, there as it were loofing 
our felves, feeing our finnes as moumaines 
drowned in the infinite Sea of his Mercy. The 
blood of Chrift, that will pacific and ftay che 
confcicnce, nothing els can give reft to onr 
foules. Jf we looke to our workes and to the 
meafureofourfan&ifKation, what faith holy 

The Returning Backflidsr. 

Paul in the like cafe < Tea doubtlefic, and I count 
aU things But lofa for the excellency of th<^> 
knowledge of Chrift Icfru my Lord, fir whom. 
I have fffffered the lojfc of all things, and 
doe count them but dung that I may winner 
Chrift, even his Righreoufntflc and beft works; 
therefore there is no regard to be had of them 
in that cafe. Wherefore whci wee would 
fpcake comfort to a diftrcflcd con fcience, wee 
muft not looke to his ill or good, but to the 
command. This is his command that we believe : 
and lookc to the alllufficiencie of God in 
Chrift, and the promifes, whereby we honour 
God in giving him the glory of his truth, and 
depart with comfort. Therefore though wee 
hate groffb Idolatry, yet we fee there are many 
wayes wherein the foule may bee feduced, 
whereby we may come very neere that finne 
which our foulc hateth ; by trailing too much 
to lomething out of God. 

If then the cafe be thus, how (hall we come 
to reforme it ( for a Ufe ofDirettion ) fo as to 
flie from all Idolatrie, and to fay with Efhraim, 

What have I now any mote to doe with idols 

Firft of all doe but confider Gods hatred 
unto all forts of Idolaters : for he accounts fuch 
to hate him , and fo accordingly puniflieth 
them. In he fecond Commandement thofc 
that are given to Idolatric in any kinde, arc 
fuch as hate God, which is a horrible thing, 
and vet notwithftanding this is the difpofition 
of all fuch as are Idolaters 5 fo farre forth as 

Z they 

j * 

How to reforme 

dolatry t 

The Returning Back/litter; 

i Joh.f.11. 

they arc Idolaters they hate God : for the more 
we know God, the more we (hall hate all Idols, 
What have I now any more to doe with Idols ? 

Labour to grow in the found knowledge of 
GodandofChrift, and of their all-futficiency. 
Marke S*Pauhs method, Coloff.i. and in other 
>laces, when hee would draw us from all out- 
vard things, he fpcakes glorioufly of the full- 
neffe of Chrift. In him d&elleth all the fullnsffe 
vfthe God head bodily : and, In him you an com- 
bleat. When he would draw them from, touch 
wt, tdflenot, handle not 5 worfoiffing of^dnge 
and from counterfeit humility, hec labours to dif- 
pofleffe them of thcfe Idolatrous conceits, and 
to poffeffe them of the fullneffe of Chrift. If 
in him wehavefullntffe, whyfhould welooke 
for any thing out oi him * If we be cpmpleat 
in him, If all fullneffe be in him, why doc wee 
(eeke any thing out of that fullnefle * Thus the 
holy Apoftle fhutreth up his firfl Epiftle, Babes 
keepe you from Idols. What is promifed there ? 
Chrift isecernall lifc, v all is in him, whereupon 
prefently comes this; Babes ktcfe you from idols 
If life and happincfifc and all be in Chrift, i 
webecornpleate in him, and thefullneffe of al 
be in him, why flioulJ we goe out of himfo 
any thing ? When God would perfwadc Abra 
ham to leave all Idolatrie, and all things elfe 
to depend wholly upon him, what doth hefirft 
pofiTefie him with * I Am God all fufpclent y &c 
know God in covenant all-fufficient, and Chrii 
in the fullneffe of his high perfcfiionsas media 


The Returning Backflider 

tor, inwhomisallfullneflcandlifeeternall, in 
whom we are compleat : we (hall then be fo 
farre from going out of him for any thing, as we 
{hall be of the fame mind vtithEpbraim, what 
have I now any more to doe with other Inter- 
cefforsand Mediators ? what have I to doe with 
will-worfhip? what need Igoe toother curfed 
meanes, when God is all-fufficicnt* 1C is the 
fcope of the new covenant of grace that wee 
{hould glory in God oncly, who hath made 
Chrift unto us, Wtfdeme^ Rigbteoufneffi, San&ifi- 
cation and Redemption. And all this, becaufc 
that whofoever gloricth in him (hould notgoe 
out of him for any thing. The more we know 
therefore the fullneffe of Chrift, and Gods 
mercy in him, the more wee (hallabhprrc all 
Idolatry, with the kindes and degrees of it. 

Another helpc and racanesto cure this dif* 
pofition in us is, to know that we are naturally 
wondrous prone to it in one degree or another. 
It is reckoned up, Gal. 1 }, asaworkcof theflefli, 
and naturally man hath a working fancy, tofet 
up fomewhat in his heart and undcrftafiding 
above, and befides God,- Imaginations to a- 
dulterate things. Men live by fence, and Ima 
gination is next to fenfe, fo that naturally all 
men are Idolaters before convcrfion in one 
kinde or other: and dote fo upon their owne, 
that they will not be driven out ofthcmfdves 
unto God in Chrift, without a great deale of j 
grace. As men naturally love the childe of 
their ownebody, fo men love the children of. 

Z 2 their 1 


We fcope oftlot 
new (ovenan 


The Returning Backfltden 


SIR. XL their ownc braine. What is the reafon that it 
is fcr hard to convert a Papift < Bccaufe it is 
will-worfhip, a device of their ownc braine, 
fuiting their naturall will and appetite And 
what makes them fo furious ( as all Idolaters 
are cruel! ) though they be mild of their owne 
natarc, yet as Idolaters they are cruell f It is 
becaufe it is a device of their owne braine, a 
brat, a childe of their owne begetting 5 where 
fore they ftrive to niaintaine it, btcaufe it is 
their owne. Let us therefore conceive this 
much, that it is no eafie matter to free the foule 
; from Idolatry, and all the degrees of this cur- 
fed difpofition, this will make us beg earncftly 
the Spirit of God, by which onely we ftallfub- 
due this Idolatrous proud conceit, and lay our 
felves open to Chrift* to be dilpofed of as hee 
pleafeth. Beg the Spirit onely, whereby we 
(hall mottific the curfed deeds of the flefh: for 
nature will never fubdue nature; the Spirit of 
God therefore is that which can, and rnuft free 
us from all dregs and tainture of this curfed dif 
pofition, which the Jcwes were fo fcourged for 
and hardly driven from. 

Againc, confider Gods punifhments in rhii 
kindtv as we fee, Rev 9.20. Where the Turk 
isftiidto beraifedup againftall thefe Idolaters 
that would not be kept from worfliippirg th( 
Divell ? and the Irnnge of the bcaft, Yet for al 
this, it is faid they did not repent And fo the 
Jewifli Church \vas ftill punifli;:d wth cBemies 
railed upagainftthcm for their Idolatry. Anc 

The Returning Backflider. 

it is to be expc&ed that the Idolatry of thefc 
wefternc Churches will at length pull downe 
Antichrift himfelfe, which muft be before the 
converfion of the lerves. For what hinders 
their converfion now ? The world is full of 
Idolaters, even Chriftians ; and therefore there 
muft be a confufion of Antichrifts Idolatrous 
worftiip before the converfion of the lewes, who 
will not returne whilft that fcandall is in their 
eye. Therefore that we may helpc forward 
that glorious worke, let us labour as much as 
we can to purge the Church of this, in drawing 
others from Idolatry, that we may helpe to 
make way for thofc glorious times a comming : 
for this Scripture fpecially hath relation unto 
the calling of ihcltives, not tobcfullfillcdtill 
then, when Epbraim fhall fay, what have I 
no any more to Joe with Idols? with that for which 
we have been fo plagued for in formcrtimcs. 

And withall let usconfiderthis, that the end 
of all falfe worfliip ( when it is left ) is gricfc 
and flume, befooling and fhamingofour felves 
r or it. Ephram (at length ) Jbattfay, what have 
r *y more to doe with iMs ? to chcrifh pride and 
elfe conceit ? which if ever I come to Heaven 
imuft renounce, hating ipyfelfe formyowne 
pride and folly. 

And fo for Idolaters themfelves, why 
fhould we confort our fclvcs with thefe, of 
whom we (hall fay one day, what have we now 
any more to doc with them ? wee muft be fe- 
pcratcd from them here, or in Hell live with 

Z 3 them 

Tbe Returning Backfltderz 

344 _ 

E R.XL them for ever. What will then be theliellof 
hell ? Mutuall curling of one another $ thy fa- 
railiarity and acquaintance,thy provocationsand 
allurements brought race into thefe torments. 
If we belong to God, lateorfoone, theremuft 
be thefe fpeeches, what have I now anymore 
to doe with fuch and fuch lying vanities ? 
Therefore let us not thinfce will- wor Slip a 


Col. * it. 

Corpora tt dn 
fpiritaaH A- 
Jultercrt are 

fardly recta* 

but a bundle of mans devices? we fee in Scrip 

ture, when rhedcareit friends of Chrift came 
unto him with devices of their owne and good 
intentions, Chrift notwithftanding faw the 
Dtvell in them, Peter made a great confeflion, 
Then art the Sowe if the living Ged^ and then he 
came,OW4/<r ftarcthy felfe : whereunto Chrift 
replied, Get thee behind me Satan. God is never 
more provoked then when men thinke to ho 
nour him with their owne devices, ftabliftmg 
a falfe, and negltding his owne true worfhip. 
And there is ufually little amendment of thefe 
kind of perfons, becaufe they carry with them a 
fbewofwifedome, as Paul faith, and great hu 
mility .-which things being fo carried wftha fliew 
of fomc grace and wlfedome (though they be 
dcfperate folly in tl^e conclufion ) men hardly 
will part withall. As we fee of corporall Adul 
tery, few of them are reclaimed ; becaufe it hath 
a bewitching alluring power: which is moft true 
of the fpirituall Adulterers, there are few oi 
them reclaimed, untill God by fome fcvere 
judgement alter and bring downe the proud 

The Returning Back{lider< 

imagination to fcrve him as he will befervcd, 
fo as to fay with Epbraim here, What have I now 
any mere to doc rvitb idols ? 

Well that wee may abhorre Idolatry the 
more, confider two or three liircd places. Who 
required thefe things at your hands^ faith God, 
when they thinketo plcafehim with voluntary 
dcvifed things, this will flrike them dumbo 
then, the things that God requires being fo 
eafic and fo few, yet wero omit them all and 
to devife new things of our owne : our reward 
(hall be, Who required thefe things at your bAnds ? 
And then sgaine faith God, In vine they uw- 
p mee, teaching for my precepts the devices of 
nun. See then the vanity of Idolaters, who 
though they would doe nothing in vaine, yet 
dee all their will-worfhip in vainc. It is not 
onely Idolatry, but obftinate Idolatry, the 
Romifh do&rine: Wet wwldkwt etredBtbel, 
but fie would not be cured. Is this a light caufc 
of our comming out of Babylon ? doc we leave 
them for trifles, when they ftand guilty of ab- 
hominablc Idolatry ? you may fee here, if fo 
be Efhrtim out of holy affe<3ion fay, wbtt htve 
I now 4*7 more to doe with Idols ? What to thinkc 
and judge of thofe that would bring God and 
Idols together 3 it EfbrAim had bccne of the 
temper that many men now are, he might have 
laid, tufh what need we care for Idols, Cruci 
fixes and the like ? there is not fuch a diftance 
betwixt them and us, why may not both Reli 
gions ftand together t This new fangled nice- 

Z 4 ncflc 



Mat. if 9. 

How fome men 
Jligbt Idolatry. 


The Returning Backfiden 

M in fome 
lejfir m atters 
ive may ufe ou 

ne opinions* 

ncffe is but the diftcmpered devices of feme 
few giddy headed men who know not what 
they would have. This is the wifedonae of 
many men in our times, who reckon that there 
is not an etcrnall irreconcileable diftance be- 
twecne light and darkeneffe, the fervice of God 
and that of Idols. Wee cannot ferve two mafters, 
faith Chrift. Yes fay they we may fervecwo 
matters, Anti-chrift and Chrift, God and B- 
liall. O but what faith Ephraim ? what havens 
I now Any more to doe with Idols ? There can be 
no mixture you know where there is abhomi- 
nation. That Church Rev.%. which was nei 
ther hot nor cold, may paralell many now in our 
times, who are neither hot nor cold, Papifts 
nor Proteftantes, but politickc Atheifts, who 
will be both or neither, whatfoever may beft 
fcrve and advance their worldly ends. How 
doth God lookc upon fuch > ( faith he ) / mil 
(pew them wt of my month : God hates fuch 
moft of all, wow I would thou wert either hot or 
cold. If this be rhe affe&ion of Gods people 
towards Idols and Idolaters, an utter averfation, 
andlhall wethinke to jumble and mingle con 
trary things together, to ferve God and the 
Divell, Chrift and Ami- Chrift. 

Thus we fee what to thinke of the temper of 
thefe mcn$ in lighter matters indeed wee may 
enjoy our owne private opinions in fome things, 
As Saint Paul faith in leffer thing?, If any 
be otbtrwtp winded > God f}-) all revealt it un 

to h:m> But when he? comes to the noint of 

Ibe Returning Backflider, 



juftification by Chrift in Gods worfhip: 
faith he ? tf*ny man be otherwfe minded : 
jhallrevealeit? No, but if I oran^ngcllfrom 
Heaven teach othenvife, let htm bee tceurfed. 
Now when men teach another doitrine and 
worfhip, joyning with grofle Idolaters in that 
worfhip, there we muft be ofPtuls fpirit, If I or 
dn L>* ngett from Heaven teach other wife, let him 
be accurfed. The Holy Ghoft at firft appeared 
in the forme and fhape of a Dove, which is a 
meckc and milde creature, that hathnotallons 
to hurt with. Yet notwithftanding at another 
time, hee appeared in fery tongues, to fhcw 
that the fame Spirit that in lefler things main- 
taineth peace and love, when it is fee againft 
any finne, efpecially againft that finncof finnes 
Idolatry, which brings Gods vengeance upon 
Kingdomes and ftates, and rootes them out 5 
there the Holy Ghoft muft appeare in fire, that 
element muft be in the hearts of people againft 
that fin : that though to perfons that have their 
flips,and in lefler matters there muft be the fpirit 
of a dove : yet there muft be in men the fpirit of 
coursqe, indignation, abhomination and hatred 
unto the Idolatry of the times. That we may fay 
from our hearts with Ephraim, What have I now 
any more to doe with Idols ? 

Therefore let us joyne with thofe that wee 
fhall live for ever with in Heaven, and goe in 
the beft courfes, and we fhall never need to 
feare feparation, nor want incouragements to 

well d 


Thus fliall we neither grieve nor 





Returning Backjltder. 

be afhamed to fay with Efhraim,What have I now 
any more to doe with idols ? At the length the 
Kings of the earth who adore the whore, they 
hall come and eate her very flefli. So it will be 
he end of thofe that raignein other menscon- 
ciences,and in a manner will be accounted gods, 
hat all which is gotten with wrong to God, 
(hall be renounced with griefe, fharac and de- 
teftation of the perfons of thofe that make Idols 
of others, and will be made Idols in the hearts 
of others, thinking themfclves not enough re- 
fpe<5kd, unlcffc they command the confcience ; 
the cud of fuch cannot be good^ all this muft end 
in loathing, (hame and deteftation. Wbathwe 
I now any more to doe with Idols? faid Efhraim^nA 
what have I now any more to doc with fuch and 
fuch prophanencffe, hypocrifie, double-dealing 
and the like, (hall fuch perfons ( thus finnefull ) 
fay one day, with fhame and horror of confci- 
Whercfore let DS meet God betimes, 

V * V / * t f* 


and renounce our Idols of all forts, that God 

may come toheArew, ebferve HS : and tee 

as 4 greene frre tree #to w 9 &c. 

Whereof if God pleafc we 

fhall hcare more the 

next time. 

X- X 


The end of the eleventh Sermon. 



SB &*&*. J& 7. &K&3 3< SK?&S8JSS? S 
i.- V v sp^ V W^ ^- ^ .jj w v* y 

jfe^tifr ^n|>^fft :< i i :> ^^ < i 

: --!" ;: THE ^ : 




fiffrwiu /ball faypbat bate I any WOK to do\ 
vitb Idols? lhA<v* beard him and 6bfer-\ 
yedhwilam lile agreenejirre^ree^rom 
me is thy fruit found. 

words (as wee heard 
heretofore ) arc a gratious 
anfwer unto the prayer 
which God himfclfc by 
hrs Spirit had dilated to 
Ephrxm : as likewife a re 
ward of Ephratms Refor 
mation. Ayded by grace, Ephwm -(hall ftv, 


What have I now any wore to dot with idols ? Gid 


3JO / The Returning Backflider. 

S B * . XlLJ willhurt him andobfer e ve him, and be like agreene 
\frrttrct unto him: For, ( faith God ) from met 
full Ephrtims fruit be found. Whereby we fee 
that whenfocvcr God doth alter the foule by 
his grace, there he alfo breeds divorce and di- 
yifion betwcenc it and all Idolatry, a difpoficion 
infome fort like himfclfe, having thofe Sympa 
thies and antipathies hee hath towards finne 
and goodneflc. Now becaufe God is a jea 
lous God, and cannot abide Idols; therefore 
Efhraim being fandtificd by the Spirit of God, 
is minded as God is, What have i any more to doe 
with Idols? 

God hath framed the foulc that tic may in joy 
the chicfegood, and avoid the chiefc ill efpe- 
cially, forpcttie goods and pettie ills are not fo 
behoovcfull : Ycc notwithftanding God will 
have us avoid all ill, and imbrace all good, and 
he hath made the foule into an anfwerable con 
dition. Therefore hath he planted affedions 
therein tending to good $ as Love, and Joy and 
delight, cfpccially made for the imbracing of 
the mainc good, thereby to goe out of it felfe, 
andclofe with that mainecheefegood,inclofing 
wherewith it may be happy. 

And then to avoid the cheefc ill, finne anch 
damnation , hee hath planted affcdtions of 1 
avcrfation, abhorring, hatred, griefe and the 
like. Thus hath he framed the foule for rhcfe 
raaine ends, without which affections, the foule 
were as <jw&re mortuMn* that dead fea. The 
affe&ions are the wings and the winde of the 


Returning Back/lider, 

fbule, that carrie it unto all which it is carried 
unto : efpecially when the \vindc of Gods 
Spirit blowesupon it, then it rs carried out of 
it felfe, for of it fclfe it cannot love or hate as it 
fliould, but God muft raifc the affe&ions, and 
lay them downc againe. Wee have not the 
managing of our owne hearts 5 grace teacheth 
us to doe all. 

The particular then here, is indignation and 
hatred, What have I now any more to doe with 
Idols ? So that the proper affeftion in Gods 
children, which fliould be converfant about 
that which is ill? and finnefully ill, is hatred and 
indignation, here is hatred with indignation ,the 
extent of the aff &;on. 

The reafon whereof is> when Gods children 
are once converted, they have a new nature put 
into them, like unto Chrift whofe Spirit rhey 
have, what he hates they hare.. He hates all 
finne,and nothing but finne, he hates the Divell 
him fclle for fin,and no further. 

Then againe, when once they are Gods chil 
dren, they have a new life pur in r o them , which 
hath antipathic to all that is contrary to ir. Every 
life in any creature hath antipathic to every 
enemy thereof. There is antipathic in Dov s 
to Brds of prey, and in the Lambe to the 
Wolfe, bccauie they are enemies to the life and 
being of them. So in the foulc of a Chriftian 
fo farre as grace is renewed, there is an antipa- 
thie, averfation and abhorring of thnr which is 
contrary. What have I to doe with finne in any 


Reaf&n i 

An fa. i. 

Helps to fate 

The Returning Backflider. 

kind * when grace hath altered the difpofition 
of a mans heart, then fin and he are two : two in 
deed in the moft oppofite tearmesthat maybe, 
what have I any more to doe with my former 
delightfull fins ? we are two now, for we weie 
before nothing but fin. And indeed where this 
hatred is not, there men may leave fin, becaufe 
fin leaves them : but this is not enough, God 
would have us to hate it with indignation, what 
have I now any more to doe with i t? 

But how (hould we come to have this (rue 
hatred offings Efbraim (hould have ? 

Amongft thofe helpes formerly named, this 
is a maine one : to rcprefent to the foule, ( as the 
foule is quieke and nimble in fuch apprehen- 
fions) the pdioufneffe of finne, that itisatruly 
hatefull thingj and therefore that our affe&ion 
of hatred cannot be better fct nor imployed 
upon any objeft then thatoffinne. For let us 
confider that it is net oncly ill in it felfe, defiling 
the foule, and hindering communion with 
God, but it is alfo the caufe of all ills, being the 
ill of ills, as God is the good of goods. For our 
troubles and terrors of confcience, wee may 
thanke finne, and for all that we fuffer every 
day in our conditions of life $ what is all but the 
fruite of our owne wayes * Wherefore fuffer eth 
living m*,n> ( faith the Prophet, ) man foficreth 
for kisfinnt. Thine ownt inventions have brought 
t he fe things upon thee ; therefore they are bitter unto 
thce, they foatt pierce thy bowels. Shall wee not 
therefore hate that which is the caufe of all 


7he Returning Back/lider* 

mifchicfe to us { If we had an enemy,c?fpccially 
if he were a foothing falfe enemy, that under 
pretence of love (hould fecke our baine and 
ruine,and joy ne with our worft enemies, would 
we not hatefuch an enemy ? Sinneisthegrea- 
teft enemy which we have in the world, and 
doth us more harme then the Divellhimfelfe, 
for it betray es us tothcDivell, and under pre 
tence of favouring and pleafing our nature* be- 
trayes us. It is a falfc deceitfull enemy, which 
comrneth not in an ugly fhape, but clofes with 
the foule in a kind of conjugall love, Dalilah 
like inticing and alluring us, whereby it hath 
the more advantage and ftrength, in that itap 
peares in a lovely, pleafing, and not in an impe 
rious commanding manner : therefore itfliould 
be the more hatefull to us. Shall we not hate 
fuch an enemy as alwaycs dogs us, and hinders 
j us, hinders us from doing any thing well, and 
i puts us on to all that is ill. It is fuch an enemy 
j that we cannot goe about to pray or doe any 
i good thing, but it hangs upon us and clogs us in 
all our performances. If a man knew that fuch 
an one ss made loveto him and all his, were his 
great grand enemy, ayming .at his deftru&ion, 
would a man ever love fuch a man { thy bafe, 
falfe, revengfull, covetous, worldly heart, it 
joynes with Sathan, without which he could 
not hurt thec. Shall a man cherifli that which 
betrayes him to his worft enemy the Divell * 
and then fliould he cberiih that which makes 
a breach betwixt him and his bcft friend ! If 

Pro v, 1 0.23, 

The Returning Bi&flider. 

a man faw one fo maliciouily eviil towards 
him, as to fow difiention by all raeancs hee 
could betwixc him and his beft honourable 
friend by whom hee was maintained in all 
hings, would not a man hate fuch a one? what 
doth finne elfe but breed divifion and entity 
Betwixt God and us ? and further, when ic 
lachmooved us to doc ill, it crycih for venge 
ance againft us at Gods hands Confcience 
oundly awakened, is alwayes clamarous ro 
ull fomcwhat from God againft us- Are nor 
[inners juftly called fooles? either men muft 
be Atheifts to deny all, or elfc iftheychcrifli 
[lane, rhey muft needs befoolesandftarkemad 
if they confcfie this, thatchey joyne with that 
which is their chiefc enemy. Therefore learne 
to be wi(e to fal v ition, make not with Salomons 
foole afport ot finne, of fwearing, of defiling 
oar (elves ana others, jeeing God thrcatneth 
damnarion unto fncb. 

And then again?, avoid all parly and in- 
tercourfe wich finne in the firft fuggeftions; 
or with wicked perfons that may draw us a- 
way. Uk finne ruggedly and harfhly as they 
doe here, what have I to doe with Idols ? doe 
but intertwine parly with-it, and it is offuchan 
infinuating nature, that it will incroach daily, 
and fpread over the foule fuddenly, betraying 
it to the Divell. Therefore ufc it hardly in the 
fivft beginnings, and avoid Satan in the firft 
fuggeftions, if we love the peace of our foules, 
as Efhraim here, what have I any more to doe^> 


The Returning Backslider, 

with Idols ? for as we fay in the cafe of honcfty. 
They come too ncare that come to have the re- 
fufall. They fhould not have fo much hope from 
a chart perfon,there fhould be fuch a modeft car 
riage^ fliould not give any one the boldneffeto 
adventure in that kind, So if a man carry himfelf 
remotely from finnefull courfes, he fliall have a 
great deale of peace from wicked men,who dare 
not fo much as adventure to draw away fuch a 
one 5 thcy know he isrefoIved.Therforcconfhnt 
refolution againft all linne and wicked men will 
breed a great dealc of peace, fo as to fay with 
Ephr aim, what have I any more to dot with idols ? 

And wemuftknow, that this hatred comes 
from the life of God i n us,therefore we muft by 
all meanes maintaine fpirituall life, and then as 
we grow fpirituall, we (hall grow in the dccefta- 
tion of fin, a fenfe of joy in good things, with a 
hatred of all that is contrary. A man can never 
hate finnc till he hath the Spirit of Chrift in him, 
for there be 3.Qja?rcs > whcreof this is the laft. 

The firft is fct downe Ieremy.%.6. No man 
fad what have I done ? When confidence in a man 
is awakened once,he faith,O ! what have I done? 
what cafe am I in ? 

The fecond Qja?re of a wakened confci- 
ence is, what frail I doe ? asthr:to/?.2. <jMen 
And Bret here rt y what fliall we dee to bt (avd? he 
that true! y faith, what have 1 done? ifconfcience 
be nwakcnedj will alfo hyjvhatftalll doe ? you 
(hull not need to drive him , when rhe Queftion is 
anfwered, what foalll doetobefived? that is by 

A n caftinc 

Hatrcl of fane 



The Returning Backjlider. 

cafting my felfeupon God in Ghrift. We need 
not put the queftion, he will fay of himfelfe, 
what have I any more to doe with that which is 
contrary to that which faves me *r what have I to 
dee with Idols? this comes in in the laft place, i . A 
man is awakened our of hisnaturall condition. 
2. Then he goes to GodinChrift. And then 
3. There is a fpirituall life wrought in him^vhich 
ftirs him up to hate all that is "contrary unto it : 
What have I now any more to doe with Idols ? 
For I have heard him andobfervedhim. 

1 have feene and obfcrvedhim, fome reade the 
words,but very few, which is thus a very good 
and pious conftruilion of them : what have^lnow 
any more to doe with Idols ? As ifEphraim fhould 
fay thefe words, / have feene him and observed 
him f that is, becaufe I have feene him andob- 
ferved, therefore what have I now any more to doe 
with Idols ? As foone as a man comes to heare 
God fpeake, andtoobferveGod, downegoes 
all Idols, for indeed the rcfpcd to Idolatry, and 
any thing that is naught,it fals down in the foul?, 
as the knowledge of the true God is lifted up; 
and as affc&ion to good things are raifed up in 
the foule. What have I to doe with Idols any more 5 
I have feene and obferved him as /<?Hafd of him 
felfe when he had feene God : lahhorre my felfe 
and reptnt in dufl andaflies. Much more al 1 falfe 
courfes.I abhone them all, now that / havt_j 
feene an dob ferved him. 

This is a fafe, pious, and good fcnfe, but the 
words under corre&ion are fitlicft applied unto 


The Returning Backjlider. 

God himfclfe, as if God rather then 
faid thus 5 / will heare him and obfcrve him,\ will do 
thus and thus, I will be & agrcenefirre-treetofiade 
him from danger, and to make him fruitful!. But 
you will fay Efhraim canno: caft away Idols till 
Godrefpedthim firft. Thei fore this is promifed 
in the fecond place, Epbraim {hall fay, what have 
I to d,e with idols? And God flttll fay, I have 
feene him, heard him, and obferved him, when 
he hath caft away Idol?. 

To this the Anfwer is, indeed in the order of 

nature God doth firit ftirre us up to pray to him, 

land promifeth us refpedt and hearing of our 

prayers,after which we caft away Idols, but the 

j experience of it is after we have done the deed. 

I After that we have found God experimentally 

gratious, protecting and hearing of us, then we 

caft away Idols. So this experience a Chriftian 

finds,when heabhorninatesandrejeftsill waies, 

then he finds God allfufficient, as indeed God is, 

never fully felt and knownetill we renounce all 

other helps. So the generall point is, 

That nothing is loft by renouncing idolatry, and 
carnal! confidence in any worldly thing. 

For God makes a fupply inhimfelfe, I will 
heare him and obfcrve him. Nothing is loft, 
for God will be true of his promife, Seek^j 
ye fr ft the kingdome of God and his Rirhteouf- 
n?s , and all other things II: a! I be mini ft red untoy on. 
The Truth of God and then his Mercy makes 
this good. Is not God merciful I to his children 
when they renounce all falfe confidence^ In re- 

A n 2 qard 



Mat. 6. 3 j, 


The Returning 


gard of the truth of his promife and mercy, he 
will make goodthis,that nothing is loft by clea 
ving to him. We read in the ftory of our o wnc 
times, in King EdwArdtiiz fixts raigne, the fame 
day that there was reformation of Idolatry in 
London, purging of Churches from roodesand 
Idols. The fame day was that noble vi&orie and 
conqueft in the North" paits over >.he enemies. 
So God anfwered their care>in reforming things 
amide with good fucceffe. 

On the contrary, when we goe on with fa 
vouring abufes and corruptions, yet expt&ing 
good fucce(Te,it is in vaine.Let Ephraim come to 
fay, 0k#fatvt I to doe with Idols ? and fee then 
whether God will refped him or not. Doe Na 
tions or perfons thinke that God will refpcd: 
theniorblefle them, whilft they do that which 
is abhominable to him>No,when Ephraim faith, 
whtt have I to doe with Idols ? then prefently 
comes, God will heart and obferve him, and 
lookc to him, as you have it in that gratious pro- 
mife, Theeyesofthe Lord are open unto allthemthat 
feare him, a#dku tares are open to their prayers, his 
eyer and his eares. Indeed God is all eye and all 
eare,the beft friend in the world, cannot have his 
eye alway es upon us, the mothers eye cannot be 
alwayes upon hcrchild, flic muft have atinie to 
fleepe, when neither her eyes nor eares are 
open to herchiids prayers, it may cry and die 
in crying fometimes before fhee can heJpe if. 
But if wee renounce finne, we have n gratious 
Father, who will keare &s s obftrve &$> *&dfa us, 


The Returning Backflider* 

and not oncly hcarc and fee, but as the Scripture 
phrafeis, doe that that followcs all this, where 
he fees, he will pitty and relieve, and where he 
hcarcs,he will pitty and proteft. 

ihtve he&dhim-, I have obferved him. 
God will heare when once we renounce fin. 
if I fegAtd iniquity i# my hearty God \vill#ot he Are 
tHypr/tyers, faith David. Bat when I doc not 
regard iniquity God will hcare my prayers. 
Then a roan may know that God will heare 
him, when once he hath renounced finneand 
comes with cleane hands and heart Co God. 
As it is in Ifai.u^ they were corrupted in their 
courfc, and yet came to God, but hee reje&s 
all, fointhelaftofthatProphccie, he accounts 
of their Sacrifices, as of thecutting offof a dogs 
nccke, bccaufe their hands were full of blood, 
and they were full of finne. Reforme ^bufcs, 
let there bee perfonall and narionall Refor 
mation, and then come and reafon the matter 
with God, and fee whether he will regard us 
or not. The Spirit ittsfaid, makes requefts 
for the Saints,and dd knowth the mewing of 
the Spirit, btcaufc it makes rcqutft According to 
the mil of God. The fame Spirit that ftirrs us 
up to amend our lives and fly Idolatrous 
courfes,the fame Spirit ftirs us up to pray to God 
according to the will of God, and then God 
heares the defires of his owne Spirit. Of all 
judgements in the world this is the greateft 
to pray and nor to be heard, for when wee 
arc in mifery, our remedy is prayer : now when 

A a 3 that 



Rom. 9. i. 

The Returning Backfliden 

that which fliould be our remedy is not regar 
ded, what a pittifull thing is that { Now here is 
an excellent bleflhg fet downe to pray, and for 
God t o h eare,/ will bean him and obferve him. B e- 
caufethen God and Efhraim were of oncmindc 
and joyncin one, therfore God cannot but heare 
and regard Ephraim, being of his mi ule 
and to hate what he loves and hares. As foonc as 
ever the Prodigal bcgacuo hate his former cour- 
fes,the Father came ontto mcete him, and fo of 
Davidjfaidlwill confeffe my (im to G od t (I fad) 
that is,in my heart I refolved to confeflc to God, 
and thott forgavejt mine iniquity, God heard his 
resolution. We cannot elfe cntertaine a full pur- 
pofc to goe to God, unleflc there be a ccffuion 
fromfinne: the Prodi^all for all his contrition, 
was afraid to be fhaken offhis Father for his dif- 
folutelife: O ! but the Father provides ^ban 
quet : (b it is when we turne to God and refolve 
a new life* to caft away our Idolatries, and for 
mer abhominarions, puefently God hurts us and 
obferves ut^nd is ready to meet us. 

There is an excellent place even touching E- 
phvajm himfelfc, lhavefiwely heard Epbraim be 
moaning hiwfelfcy thou haft chaftifed mee^ and I 
WM ckaftifid a* a Bulhck unaccuflomed to thz^ 
yoake, turne mee t& thee and 1 jhall bee turned, 
thou art the Lord my God } &~, Is Epfoaim A deare 
fo^ne^ is hee a flcafant child, for fwce I fyakz^ 
a^ainft him I doe earttsftly remember him flill 5 
therefore my bowels, are troubled for him, / mil 
have mercy upon him. \tEphraim beginne to be- 


The Returning Back/liefer 


moanchimfelfefor his folly,prefently followes, 
that Gods bowels are turned to him, foitis faid 
of Efbraim here, after he had renounced Idols, 
Gods bowels are turned towards him, / have 
heard him afidobfervedkim. Which yeelds us a 
fweet and comfortable consideration, to turne to 
God from all our fir.full courfes, becaufe God is 
fo ready to forgive, and to forgive great finnes. 
What if our finne be Idolatry, the grand finne 
of the fir ft Table :yct \fEfbrM* fay, What have I 
to doe with idols? (though it be fpiricuall adultery ) 
yet if />/7v7fl begin to renounce Idolatry, God 
will fay, I have beard htm And obfervedkim. If 
your finnes were Mrtdascnmfen ( fa thGod ) / 
will make them white # wooll,&c. Crirafon fins, 
double dyed finnes,it is no matter what theyarc, 
if we come to God, there is more mercy in him 
then finne in us. IfEpbram fay, what have I to 
doe with my former evill courfes, God mil bearc 
him and ohfirve him. 

It is never better with a Chriftian, then when 
he hath renounced all wicked courfes, though 
he thinkes himfelfe ulBone if he leave his for 
mer DaliUh delights, butthere is no fuch mat 
ter, for we (hall finde an hundred fold more in ( 
God,asChrift fp^akes, Whofiever leaves father Mat . If . 25> , 
or motbtr, brother cr fiftcr, houfe or kindred for 
mefiall have a hundred fold tn this world, that is, 
they fliall have it incontentmeatand grace, in 
pence of confcience, and perhaps in the things 
of this life in another Uinde. What loft orffci 
when he obeyed God, and forfooke his 
A a 4 fathers 

The Returning Back/ltdtn 

i fathers houfe? God was all-fufficient for him,hc 
grew a rich man. And what loft he by giving 
Ifaacketo God t he received his fooneagaine^of 
whom there came an innumerable feed. And 
what loft holy Dip/Win waiting for the time that 
he (hould come unto the Kingdome without 
making hafte, he came quietly to the pofltffion 
of thecrownerwhercas leroboam who made more 
haftc, after God had told himheffouldraignc, 
he was curfed in his governmcnt,and none of his 
pofterity came to good.There is nothing loft by 
depending and waiting upon God, and renoun 
cing of carnall confidence. We think naturally 
we are undone, O! there is no fuch matter>asD4 
<vid fpeakcs, When wy father and mot hcrforfaketh 
m^yettheLordtAkethmenp. As we know in the 
Gofpell,when thcblind poore man was excom 
municated and caft out, after he had fpoke fome- 
whatftoutely tothcPfarifies, will yte tlfo be his 
Difciples?ytt then Chrift takes him prefently in 
to hiscompany, being expelled by them, what 
loft he by this ? So when Ifraell had loft all their 
fkfli-pots in Mgypt^ thef nad no loffe, for God 
provided them Manna from Heaven, and what 
loft they by that? they had Angels food inftead 
of their gar licke and onyons. / 

/ have obfervedhim . 

That is, I will have a fpeciall eye to him, I 
will looke to him in all conditions and ftates 
whatfoever: God never (lumbers nor fleepes, 
like the Matter of the houfe in the Parable, who 
when the poore man came for bread,, all thr 


The Returning Back/!ider+ 

reft being afkepc is awaked, and raifcd up by 
the importunity of the poorc man. So the 
great Mafter of the family of Heaven and Earth 
that governcsall, he wakes day and night and 
never fleepes ; herein going beyond the care 
of thedearcft friends we have in the world, for 
they rnuft have a time to flecpe, the mother 
though flic love the childc as her owne bowels, 
yet notwithftanding flic muft havcarcfting time, 
and perhaps in that time the childe may mif 
cai ry : but God al waycs obferves, his eye is al- 
wayes upon his children, they are before him, 
written in thepalmcs of his hands$ he hath them 
in his eye: asinx^/^r, you have there God 
brought in obferving the children ofljrael : 1 
hwc fane,! have feene the affliction of my people if- 
r*tf/;they thought themfelves neglcdedot God, 
but hctc\lsMyesjf?4vcfe0ic,lbAvtfet*t,l know 
it very well, he adds knowledge to fight. So 
there is no affliction in this world to Gods chil- 
dren,but God in fceiag fees, as before he heares 
thegroanesandfighs, fo he lees the moft inti 
mate inward afflidion whatfoever that afflicfls 
the foule,as they were grieved in very foule ar the 
tyranny of Phtroab, Oh but God in feeing hee 
fees, whofe eyes are ten thoufand times brighter 
then the Sunne. Thisisaconfolation^whenone 
thinkcs that no man fees and regards : alas,what 
fhall become of me? Why fhould any man fay fo 
that hath God to go too, who is all eye, and all 
care. God heares and fees, his cares are alwayes 
open,as it is often fhewed,efpecially 9 rfal.$ 4 .15. 




Rev. 1. 14* 1 f, 


The Returning B*ckfltder. 

It is (aid, His eares are open to their prayers, and bis 
eyes t$ fee their afflictions. 

But with what kindeof eye doth God fee the 
affli&ions of his children ? 

Hee fees them with a tender compaffionate 
eye, for hcabDunderhinthofeaffe&ions which 
le hath put into a Father and Mother : there 
s no Mother would fuffer her childe to mif. 
carry if fliee could helpe it, God fees furely 
fome afflidions are for our good, or he would 
releeve us, for as he hath a compsilionatc eye, 
fo he hath a tender heart, and a powerful! hand. 
He fees wicked men alfo, but his eyes in regard 
of them are like a flame of fier, not onely be- 
caufe he is quickfighted, but becaufe he fees 
with a revcngfull eye, and as his eyes are like a 
flame of fire, fo likewifc I., hath fcete ofbraife 
Co tread them to pouder. 

And this likewife js no little part ofour com- 
fort,for when we fuffer any thing in this world,it 
is from ill men for the moft part, except it be in 
thofe affii&ions wherein we more immediately 
deale with in ficknefTe,&r. But in perfe- 
cution in the world, our trouble lies with men : 
therefore it is our comfort, God fees our trouble 
and their malice, and as he is ready to helpe the 
one/o he is to revenge the other. 

And as it is a point of comfort, fo of great 
incouragement to be bold in Gods caufe, what 
(hall we be bafer then the bafe creatures { take 
but a dog in his matters fight, you fee how he 
will fight. Take the meancft and bafeft crea- 
. ture, 

Ibe Returning Back/Iider< 

turc, when it hath a fupcriour nature to it felfe, 
that isvvifer and greater, that incourageth and 
fets iton,that it knowes will fee it take no harme, 
thefc bafe creatures will be couragious, which 
othcrwifcifithad none to fct it on, had no cou 
rage at all, at lead not fo much. And (hall we in 
the fight of God, and when we arc fee in his 
quarrel), and have his incouragement and his 
command 5 with promife of his prefence and afli- 
ftance flinch and flic of then ? It argues a great 
deale of atheifme and infidelity of heart. God 
fees me and lookes on me while I fighr> and 
while I (land for his caufe: Gods caulc is trueand 
juft,God fees me,and he fees who oppofcth me. 
In regard of the eye of God therefore, let us be 
couragious in thefe things that are agreeable to 
the mind of God, whatfoever they be, whether 
matters of jufticeor pfery. 
Againe if God have fuoh an eare to heare us, 
let us have an eare to heare him, and an eye to 
looke to him ; let us have iJMofcs eye, to looke 
on him who is in vifi We, his eye is upon us, and 
let our eye be to him, both may be together. 
When thefe two eyes mccr, when my heart 
tells me that God feeth me, and that I fee God 
looking upon me, this makes couragious. 
Therefore as God heares and fees us, fo we 
muft have an eye to fee him that is invifible. 
And fo we paffe from thefe words : 1 have heard 
him and obferved him, and what the Prophets 
meaning is 5 / htvc heard him and mil heare 
him : I have obferved him and wi [I ohjerve him : 



rfe. 3. 



The Returning Backjltder. 

For they containea perpctualla&ionin God,not 
that he hath, and will not doe it now : but what 
he hath done and will doc, that he fetsdowne 
here in borrowed fpeeches,fr he faith alfo, 

/ will be like A greenefrre- tree to him, from me u 
thy fruit found. 

Godwill be like a greene fine-tree m regard of 
flndow, a Firre-tree is a high tree, a goodly 
fmooth tree,barren in regard of fruit, but it hath 
thicke leaves, which hinders raine from falling 
upon thofe who reft under the lhadow thereof 
and likevvife keepes the Sunne from annoying 
them, Co it is a fit tree for fhadovv, and the fitter 
becaufe it hath no fruit, for ufually thofe trees 
which fpend not thcmfclvcs this way, they 
fpcnd thcmfelves in leaves, and have a perpc- 
tuall grecnenefle, which is fupplied with that 
which (hould be fruit in fruitful! trees. Therfore 
he fets it down by this comparifon Qfzfrre-tree, 
that fo God will keepe backc all fhowers, tem- 
pefts and ftormes,and all annoying heate/and he 
will doe it perpetually, as the firre-trec hath a 
perpetuall greenenefle, and he will doe it with 
pleafurc and delight, as it is a delightful! fha- 
dovv. But becaufe the Pirre-tree hath no fruit 
on it, God will not nely be a fh idovv to his 
children to keepe ill from them, but he vvil i be 
a fruitfull tree to them. Frem mee ( faith God ) 
foall thy fruit befound^ that is, vvhatfotver good 
thou doeft, thou flialt have it from me, all fruit- 
full comfort comes from mee, and all grace 5 
whatfoever is good for thee for prosperity of 


The Returning Back/lider* 

fouleor body, all is from me. So we fee how 
God convtyeth himfelfc and his mercy here 
by fwectcomparifons, dealing very familiarly 
with us, and fpeaking to us in our own language, 
we will take both in order as they lye. 

God will be as afrretrct in regard of (hadow 
to the pafiTcnger, and keeping off of ftormes, 
the great God, and the good God who is good- 
nefifc it felfe, hath provided in this world, not 
onelygood for us, but hath alfo promifed de 
fences againft all annoyances. In the cora- 
parifon it felfc we will obferve fomewhat con 
cerning the goodneffe of God, for as in this life 
we arc fubje& to many inconveniences, wants 
and ncceflities, fo God hath fupply for all, even 
outward neceflities; wee are fubjed: to cold 3 
for that we have the element of fire: wee are 
fubjt&to ftormes, he hath provided garments 
and skill to make them : fo in our travells he 
hath provided fome trees cfpecially to fhelter 
us. Wee cannot name any inconvenience of 
this lifc,but the rich God in hisgoodnefle hath 
provided a fuitable fupply. Doth God take 
care for this fading perilling life, which is but 
as a vapor, and hath he good things for it, and 
fences from the ill and annoyances of ir, till we 
have fulfilled our pilgrimage upon earth ? and 
will not that God have acareofourbeft life of 
grace that (hall end in glory, that we (hall have 
all things neceffery for life and god lint fTe, 
I which hath the promife not of this lifconely, 
but of a better : he that is fo good to this na 



Tee. 1.5, 

. xii. 

Cam. i, 5. 


The Returning 

turalllife, will be much more in things concer 
ning a better life, which he would have us mind 
more J will be as agreent fore tree unto him , 

God will be as aj?w-/mefpeciaiiy in regard 
of (hadow, to keepc from all annoyance both of 
ftorme and of the Sunne, for the Sunne in thofe 
hot countries annoyes them very much, as the 
Spoufe cornplaines of her blacknefle, kecaufe 
the Sunne had fritted upon her^ tobzblazke as the 
tents of Kedar^&cc. Whence we may obiecve 
by the way. 

"fh ere is not the moft c&mfortable refre firing crea 
ture in the world, but take it in the exceffi, it harmes 
and annoyes. 

What more comfortablethen water, yet if it 
prevaile and abound, it is a destroying creature, 
as we fee in the deluge and divers inundations ? 
what more comfortable then^ire? and what 
more terrible if it exceed ? what more cheri- 
fliing, refreihing and quickning then the Sunne, 
yet in the exceflive heate thereof it fcorcheth 
and parcheth things. So in the Sunne of profpe- 
rityandall other good things in the world, it is 
beftto have and enjoy all things with modera 
tion: for if we have grace to qualifie them, all 
things are good ? other wife the excdfe hurts us. 
Therefore beg of God wifdometo temper and 
moderate the beft good in this world, which 
otherwife hurts us. For even the excefTi ve heare 
of the Sunne in thofe countries, makes them 
gla-d of the fhadow tf\\iz fine-tree. 

Thus God doth not onely give a fhadow, 


The Returning Back/Iider* 


but a Comfortable (hadow and defence to h 
people, which is ther fore called thefiadow of his 
wings /0)i 0/K faith Chrift to Hierujalem)weuldl 
lave gathtredthee as the bengatbcrttbbtr chickens 
undir her wings. It is not oncly a (hielding from 
hurts and dangers, andflormes, but a fweet de 
fence with reft and quiet : as thofe that are weary 
compofe themfelves to reft under a fbadow>fo in 
God is our red: Come unto me (faith Chrift) all ye 
that are weary and heavy laden.and ye flail fnd reft 
to your fifties. All reft is in Chrift and in Gods 
mercy in Chrift. We fee then after we have for- 
fooke Idolatry God is to us inftead of all the 
good we had by Idoh, we loofe nothing by it, 
Cedwillhedsagreenefr tree: whencethe poinr is, 

There is 4 protection, rest, and defence provided 
fcr (lods people, when once they have renounced their 
Idolatry axdjinnefullccurfes. 

Thole who refufethe (belter ofldo!?, God 
will be a (belter unto them, a greene frre-tree 
#nto them, another manner of (lielter, thenthac 
which Idols or any other creature can give 
them. Every man will have fome (belter, (bicld 
or other to cover him, this or that great man to 
(hield or (belter himfelfe under. A rich man 
he hath riches, another this or that defence, 
every man that hath any wit about him, will 
have fome (belter, and not lye open to all 
ftormes when they come. But the one!y true 
(belter is God himfelfe to a Chriftian : all other 
refuges are but (hadowes, that is they are no 
thing but like lenatgohrd, which may flicker 


Mat. 13.37. 

Mat. 1 1, 2 8. 





The Returning Bickjlider. 

x>r a time, but there is a worrne of vanity that 
will care them out. Riches and the favourof 
men may flicker for a time,but: there is a wormc 
at the bottoms which will roote them out,death 
will confurne them, and thofe they depend up 
on : but God is a true fhelter to his people, an 
everlafting habitation, as it is written: Then an 
HY habitation pom generation to generation ; we 
dwell in him as in our Rockeznd Caftle* he is an 
everlafting habitation, not only a fliadow, bur a 
owcr and acaftle to dwell in. Therefore the 
only wife man is the Chriftian.-Foras Noah when 
the flood came upon the old world and fwept 
hem away, had an Arke to fave himfelfe in, fo 
iiave all Gods children a houfctoget over their 
heads in the worft times, which is Gods blefled 
prote<5lion,in whom they arc fafe. Let us thinke 
often of thefethings,what a blefled thing it is to 
be in the ftate of a Chriftian, that hath alway 
a certaine and fure protection, quietandreftin 
God. And what a fearefull thingisit tobeas 
the ^chitopbds of this world, to be as C*ine t 
luda* or Saul f who are flirewed in counfell and 
pollicy, and yet when confcience is awakened 
by the ftorme of Gods wrath, wane a fbelter, 
whilft he who is above confcience, and fliould 
beaflielter to them frownes upon them : what 
a pittifull ftate is this <r "the wickedeft man in 
the world, though he have never fo great de- 
pendance, parts and ftrength from humane 
helps, yet when the ftorme of Gods wrath 
comes, he is as a naked man in the mid ft of a 


The Returning Backjlider. 

ftorme^and knows not whether to go : thcrfore 
! let us be wife to have God for our fhelter, if w< 

would notbelikethefemifcrablc polititians anc 


"Now from this that the fliadow is comforta 

hlc in thofe hot countrics>whcre the Sun is dire 

flyover iheir hcads>comesthcfe fwect phrafe 
(in the Pfdlmcs,and other Scriptures. , Thou ftalt 
\keept me under the fiadow of thy wings : as the apple 
t$ the trees efthe firreJt,fo is my beloved 
h^ fins:J fate dorvne under his foadow with 
great delight ,&c. The Church fpeaks of Chrift, 
/ fae under hi* faadow with great delight, and his 
fruit wa* facet to my talie. The likeyou have in 
many places in the Pfalmes, I will name one or 
two more pregnantthcn the reft, to helpe our 
mcmories,and to breed a deeper impreflion of fo 
comfortable a point,P/4/. 63. There the Pfdmi-jt 
fpcakes of reding under the (liadow of Gods 
wings. And fo in that other fwcet and excellent 
p/S/iw^,in the grea eft cxtreamities of Gods peo- 
y\z,Uettjatdwellethin the fccret place of the mojl 
#/gA,thatis GtoAifbdlMJi under the fcstdow of 
the Almighty. He (ayes after,/ will fay of the Lord 
he is my refitge andfirlrejje, for where God tels a 
man that he is a hiding place and a (hadow,thtrc 
Faith adds the application prefently,aod then he 

oes on fprakin^ of Inmfelfc, He frail covering 
vith hit fiatler sjwder his w;#gs wilt I reft >h is truth 
(ba!l he my buckler, thoit fraltnoi be afrtdofth^> 
err or by nighty ncr of the arrow by d*y^ nor of 

hepeftitence thatwalhethin tbtj#ke> a thoufand 
FJ b 


The Returning Back/lider. 

fhali fafty&cc. So that we fee how God doth that 
joour foules and conditions, chat the firre tree 
which is Gods good creature,doth to the body 
in the time of ftorme and heat ; that is he doth re- 
tcfh us under the fhadow of his wings, he is a 
Tweet, comfortable and gratious God unto us.. 
This you fee is a cleere truth, yet becaufe it is fo 
comfortable we will inlarge it further : looke 
what God fpeafcs 5 7/4 4.45 The Lord mil create 
upon every dwelling place $f<Jilwnt Zion, and 
upon her affcmbly a cloud an dfmoake by day , and the 
fritting of a flame of fire by night for upon all the glo 
ry Jhall be A defence. Sec what a comfortable fha 
dow God is,he faith, he-will create, if they want 
the comfort of thcfirrc-tm and fuch like fba- 
dowes,he fayes God will create,\hzt is make them 
of nothing,he will create upon every dwelling pi ace 
ofcfrtotwtzion, where his children dwell, and 
upon their aflemblies^ clou d andafmoake by day, 
that is,when they are annoyed by the Sun, God 
will create a cloud to keepe the rage and the 
fcorching heat of the Sun from them,and then a 
fiining flame of freby night ^ becv^ufe in the night 
we need light,f or #/w <*// the glory fiall be a de- 
fencejhw. is upon all the glorious Saints of God 3 
they are Glory /or there is a Spirit of glory put 
into them. The people of God in whom God 
will glorifiehimfelf, are glorious, and (ball bee 
furtherglorified,and they fliall inthe aieantirncy 
, have a defence by day and by night from all 
j dangers whatioever. 

Thus it is cleare that God will be z.JhaJow to 
j his 

The Returning BackJIidtr. 

his peoples the fir-tree : which is an allufion to 
that grand paffige of his providence in condud- 
ingthe children oflfraet out of Agyf* where 
(God to guide thcmj provided a cloxdby Jay and 
a pillar of fire by night, the (arac pittar.yhich 
waslightlometo the ifraclttes was darke to the 
Egyptians, which cloud and pillar of fire con 
tinued, (Godcond^dingthem) till they came 
into the land of Canaan. Hz fliadowed them 
by day with a cloud and lightned and heated 
them by a pillar of fire at night, thus conduft- 
ing them till they came to Canaan. So we pat 
fing through the wildernefle of this world till 
wee come unto our celeftiall Canaan Heaven, 
Godwill be a cloitde by his gratious fpeciall 
providence,tokeepeall ill whatfoevcr from us, 
and a pillar off re to lighten and direcft us till we 
come to our heavenly Canaan, where he will be 
all in all, when we (hall need neither Sunnc 
nor Moon,nor have any thing to annoy us. There 
the noon-day (hall not burne us with heat of the 
Sunne, nor the fire by night, when we are in 
Heaven,there (hall be no annoyance of the crca- 
ture:there fliall be no more want of light,becaufe 
we fliall have all light and refrcfhing there fore 
ver and ever, For as it is written,then all teares, 
all foirow and caufeofforrdw fliall be for ever 
wiped away,an allufion wherunto we have com 
fortably fet downe,P/d/.i 2 1 . The more we fliall 
enrich and refrefli our memories with thinking 
of thcfe thingSjthe more comfort will fink into 
our hearts. TbciaxJPjW. isallfpcnt oncom- 

B b 2 fort 

Exo. 14.10 

Rev. 7. 





The Returning Backflider, 


fort in this kind ,/iw#/(//0^ mint eyes to the bits 
whence comweth my (dlvatiox : my hclpe commttb 
frem tht Lord who made Heaven and Earth , all my 
helpeisfrom him, he \villnotfuffir my foot to b*^> 
vefile that keepes Jfrael will neither jlttmber nor 
p.HewitlnotJlumbert\\tt. is,his cyesMc alwaics 
open to fee,as his earcs ro hcare. Beheld hee that 
kcepeth Jfrael doth neither Dumber nor (Icept, the^> 
Lord ^ thy keeper jhy that the SunKefoall 
notfmite thee by day jior the woone by night) thz^> 
Lord frail preftrve thy going out and thy comming 
inborn this time for ever. Thus we fee this Scrip 
ture is a large gloffe and commentary upon this 
truth, chat God with a fpeciall providence and 
protedion cares for his children to keepe them 
from all illrhe will be zsthefr-treetothem in re- 
gard of fbidow^Whence we obferve in fpeciall, 
That this life of ours whil ft we come to Heaven is 
fub}tfftofcorchings and wavy att#6yat?ces,andthofc 
both outwardly and inwardly) from ourfelv$ and 
from others. 

Firft, for outward annoyances^ how many oi 
them is our poore life fubjcfl unto: and for 
inward terror and boyling hea cof confcienre 
when God in anger difcovershimfclfe unto 
and fets our fins in order before us : O then, 
we have not a fliadowjif God in mercy through 
Jefus Chrift be not a fliadow to kecpe thac boy- 
ling heat from us^what will become of the poore 
cofifcience?efpecial!y if Satan adds hispoifonec 
fiery darts^poyfoning, inflaming the confcicncc 
wiihcemptationsto defpaire, as if God had for- 


The Returning Backslider. 

faken and were angry, or when God feemes an 
gry,then he feems like a confuming firc.O! who 
can abideh,when all thefe fiery temptations an 
joyncd with Gods anger^yet the deareft of God 
Sal tsarefubjc&tothefeinwardboyling hea i 
of Gods anger.3/y God my GoJwhy haft then for 
^^w^faidthchcadofthe Church himfelfe 
land fee how Job cornplaines 3 ft&00 haft fit me as 
< But toftoot at. And in regard of this fpiricuall de- 
/fertionZMi//^ complains much throughout th 
JF/i/tf/rj.Sothisour life is fubjt&co outward and 
jfpirituall annoy anccs,from God,from Satan,and 
from our felves and the world,c very way annoy 
ed with fcorchings & heat,what need a fhadow, 
a protections defence clfe. That fuppofeth this. 
If this be fo,then coofider how fcarefull the 
condition of thofe people is that arc not under the 
(hadow of the Alnrghty ,who have not God as 
zfr tree to fliadow and cover them,that he is not 
acloudbydaytoo,andapillar of fire by night, 
that have not him for a .hiding phce to fpread 
(the wings of his mercy over them. Whatis the 
ftateof fuch people? furely howfoever God feed 
them,and fils their belly wirh good things in this 
world for a time, yet their cafe will be fearcf ull, 
when God lets loofe confcience and Satans fiery 
darts againft them. Judge then hereby what 
our ftateisby nature without God. The fame 
funne which cberifbeth and comforteth* alfo 
tortures and fcorcheth us: fo God isafunne 3 a 
quickning funne to his children, yea a vigorous 
funne, wbohath healing under his wings; but 

B b 3 to 



Their mifery 
who have not 
God for aflja 
Afftv it fb&eed. 



The Returning Back/luter. 


o the wicked he is a fcorching and a confuting 
ire,itisafearfullthingtofall into the hands of 
he living God who is fo dreadful 1, he will Rot 
>e a fhadow to the wicked in an excellent man. 
ner,he indeed permits them to have many fha- 
dows in this world, many fweet comforts, and 
ceepsthem alfo from many dangers, but they 
lave not that worthy portion which Hannah had 
torn her husband, Love at the houre of death, 
and intime of temptation, when thefe comforts 
leave them>what fhadowhavethey then * none 
atallsbutare as naked men in aftorme, fubjedto 
the fury of Gods etcrnall wrath. The things 
which are moft comfortable to Gods people are 
moft terrible to them, as it is faid in one of thofc 
plagues powred out upon ^fntichrift ( for all 
the viols there fpoken of tend to the punifli- 
ing of ufntichrijl>) there is a violl powred 
forth upon the Sunne, which reflecting and 
lighting upon them,caufeth them to blafpheme, 
they were fo fcorched with it. The Sun by pro 
bable interpreters, is faid to be the word of God, 
which when it is opened is fweet and comforta 
ble to Gods people, but (hining upon men that 
are nanghtjefpecially at the houre of dearh,in af- 
fli&ion and in diftrefTe it fpe^kes no comfort to 
them, but caufeth them to defpaire, rage anc 
ftorme. Nay, prophane men when they are a 
the b?ft> they rage and ftormeat the dite&ion o 
the fun,becau(e it difc overs to them that which 
they would not have known. 

Now what Vfefhoul d we make of this ? wil 

mg Baekjlider. 

Godbcalhadow to his people to kecpethcm 
from all evill,as his promife was to ^Abraham in 
the covenant of grace: I will be thy buckler to keep 
ill from thce 5 and thy exceeding great rrnW, And 
intheP>/wtf,Godpromifcth to be zSunnc for 
a od,anday?^Wtokeepofallill.Will.Godbc- 
ftow good & keep off ill from usfthen labour to 
come willingly under the (badow of \heAlmigb- 
mofervc him, and to make God in covenant 
our God, that he may be a JhielJ anJ Ming 
placcwno us,and a /had* in all extremities what- 
focvcr . T hofe that attend upon great per ions, 
they do it upon this hope : 1 if I belong to fuch 
a great perfon,he will (helter mc,that every bale 
perfon (hall not wrong me 5 I (hall now have 
fome prerogatives. Doth carnall policy teach 
poore creatures who are fubjeft to abuieit, to 
act forae (helter of great noble men to be privi- 
fedged,and (hall not fpirituall wifdome teach us 
to get under the great God, under the (hadow of 
his wings 1 none can come neere to annoy us 
without his fpeciall will and leave, as hthefto- 
ry of/^,The Dtvel durft not annoy him,nor en 
ter into the Swine, much leffe hurt Gods chil- 
dren.fliall we not therfore get under the fervice 
of eur God,can any man (helter us better r there 
is no fervice to that of a King,but is there any fer- 
vicero the King of Kings and Lord of Lords ? 
will he fuffdr his children to be abufed in his 
ownfight,or his followers difgraced^ furely no, 
therfore makethis ufe of it, to get into the fervice 
of the great God,which is a rich/ecwe, and fafe 
fervice. B b 4 Again 

Gen, 15. i 

job f ; 

Mac. 8. 5 1. 

Returning Back/litter. 

Against yeelds us an ufe of Refolution,for to 1 
obey God,and to go boldly on in a good courfej 
what fhould wefeare when God is our mtflcrjj 
ie will ftiield us and keepe us fafe, and give hisj 
Angels charge over us, to (hew that he hath aj 
care,indeed he hath many keepers under | 
iim,bufhe is the grand keeper, whofetsall a 
worke: for Angels, Magiftrates, Miniftcrs and! 
our friendsk^ epe us : but Gods Spirit within us, 
and his gratious good providence without us are 
our chitfe keepers. Therfore let all our care be 
to fer ve God, and to be in his way es, he will 
keep us in his wayes,whac an incouragemsnt is 
thistobcingoodcourfes, where we may looke 
for the (hadow of the Almighty God without 
tempting of him. If a man be in an ill way and 
courfe,he cannot look that the Almighty fhould 
(hadowhim: his heart will tell him,now God 
may withdraw his fhelter and vving from me> 
he may leave me naked to the Divell and to the 
malice of men, he may ftrip me of all comfort 
in rnyfouleandconfcience> and give me up to 
terrours of heart out of his way. If J truft him 
now J tempt him, becaufe he will be a defence 
onely in his owne vvayes. Therefore let us 
labour alwaycs to bee in thofe wayess and 
then God will bee as a greene fine-tree unto 

Andlaftof all, let it be an ufe of Comfort 
unto us, for all the time of our life to come: 
whatfoever may Come, we ycc paiTe under a 
buckler, let a whole fhowre andfliot of arrows] 

The Returning Backfiider. 

fall upon us, we have a buMcr,Thou r 

Buckler, t hou Lor dart my defence ^ my hiding flace, 1 
my caflle : we are fubjcdto a vyorld of dangers 
whilft we live here.But we have God inftead of 
all,to keepc of all>he is a buckler, a (hield, a fha- 
dow and a hiding place,let what ill fo ever bee 
prefented to our thoughts, there is in God fome 
Fence againft it.For this purpofe we have many 
excellent paflagcs in P/i/. i S.which was made 
after a sreat deliverance./ love the Lord my buck- ; 
lcr,my fiield>my defence,** if he (hould fay,! have 
in my life time bin annoyed with many troubles,! 
but J have found experience of God in all. He is 
my buckler. my /WeW, my fence, every thing to me. 
So let us comfort our f elves in this, let come 
what will cornc^ll (hall come wel r o Gods chil- 
dren^he will kcepethem,if not outwardly, yet in 
that they moftdefiretobckept in, he will pre- 
firve their fririts from every evillworke, from do 
ing ill,and from defperate falling from Godjafid 
he will guard them inwardly by the peace of God 
which faffeth ttnderftanding ; it (hall guard their 
hearts, they (hall have inward peace in the 
midft of all the troubles of this world : a great 
comfort. What a rcjoycing is it to a poorc 
paffcnger, vvhcnhc paffeth by the high way 
fide in a hot burning day, or in a ftorme, to fee 
a goodly hi^h tree with fpreading boughes, 
that he may hide and repofe himfelfe under it 
from the ftorme or htate, this pleafcth him 
maivclloufly, as Jonas gourd did him. Doe 
thcfe outward poore contentments fo refrcfli 



Rom, 8. 3 8,3 9 

The Returning Back/litter. 

us in this world,and (hall we not think that God 

which provides fuch poore contentments f or 

his forty life in this wo rld,will he not provide a 

hadow in regard of the mainc dangers/urely he 

will if we trufthim,and fhewourtruft by cafting 

our felves upon him in obedience futable to our 

calling ( faith the ApoftleJ lamperfoadcdthat 

neither things prtfcntjwr to come nor life nor death 

mr any thing ft all be able to feperatc is from the low 

fChrift^ lefa our Lord. Therefore let us be afraid 

of nothing that otn befall us,God will beafliield 

and abuckler, and all in all to us in agood way 

We haveaboandance of comfort every where 

Q Scripture,and want nothing but Faith to apply 

thomeinpra&ife.Thereforewe ought to bee 

of God fo to inlarge our Faith,that as his prom^ 

"es and comforts are very large, fo may our vef 

fels bcto retains all thcfc excellent comforts and 

"weet promifes. 

All other comforts in the world, are but like 
af gourd, for all other fhadowes yeeld onely 
a {badow. for a while, and then the Sun- ftine 
or Eaft-wmde is 1 ike a worme to nip them a fun- 
der. Never truft then, or leane to fuch /ha 
dowes as thefe be, of Friends, Riches <ic 
Which are fhadowes men ordinarily relic 
upon. 1 have fuch and fuch a friend, a p l acc 
and the like, my mountaine is thus and thus 
ftrong: all thefe are Inas ^ourds^ there is ai 
worme of vanity will be at the roote of all and 
confumeall, all other fhadowcs are but meere 
fhadowes. What is more tranfient then a fha- 
. dovv, | 

The Returning Backjlider. 

dow, but Gods fhadow is like igncnc frre-trct^ Siia.XII. 
it never failcs norforfakes us, as allother fha- 
dowcs and contentments doe whatfoevcr : but 
God faith, He wllbe like a greenefrre tree unto 
thet, yet this is not all, nor enough,for after this 
he adds. 

From me U thy fruit found, 

God is not only to his children a firre-trtt in 
regard of fhadow, that tree abounding in leaves 
very thicke, whereby we are kept from annoy 
ance of fcorching heats of troubles and terrors of 
confcience and perfecution.e^. This is not all, 
but he faithalfo, 

from me is thy fruit found. 

A Firre tree though it be for thicknefTe of the 
leaves a very good (hade, yet it is a barren fruic- 
lestree,butGodisfuchatreeas hath both fha 
dow and fruit,inGod there is a fupply of al wants 
whatfoever. All the fcattered excellencies of all 
creatures being united in God 3 and eminent in 
him,itisinhinbandinhimin a divine gratio Js, 
eminent and comfortable manner. All the crea 
tures as they come from God, are his creatures, 
neither is there any creature, but hath fomewhat 
of God in it. Thcrfore God vouchfafes to take 
names from the creatures,to be a rock of fal vati- 
on,he is as a rock to build on, to be a (hadowing 
tree^becaufe he is a defence from ill,apd to be a 
fruitfull trecjbecaufe he yeelds good and com- 
fort^and grace as he doth fruit, W hen we fee any 
thing that is ufcfull, we may fay this we have 
JromGod in an eminent manner, this prefer- 



The Returning Backjltder. 

vationand comfort. Doc I in my pafFage t o 
Heaven find fuch comfortin the creature ? when 
I am parting through a wild place, havelfuch 
comfort in the {feadow of a tree? or when I am 
hungry am I fp refreshed by a fruitful! tree? what 
comfort then is there in God^inHeaven^in glory 
when there are fuch comforts in the way of my 
pilgrimage in this world, therefore God is fad 
here,both to be a/r fw,and a fruitful! tree. For 
then the pafifenger travelling through a wild bar- 
ren place thinks himfelfe made, when he can re 
tire fromthe fcorching of the heat,and alfo ther- 
withallfinde fruitfulnes 5 fhide and fruit concur 
ring he thinks himfelf marvel Jouflyhappv Thk 
is the ftate of a Chriftian that hath God for his 
God,bemgin covenant with him,heisnot onlv a 
ftrong protedion and defence from all annoy 
ance (as God fhadowes us and is a buckler 
from all evils both inward and outward 
from Sathan and all kinde of e . 
vils and wrath ) but hee is al- 
fo a fruitfull tree too, 
From met is thy 
fruit -found. 

rhc tnd of the twelfth Sermon. 





Hos, 14. 8 t 

//tw /rb agreencfim-tretifroM 
i* thy fruit found. 

HIS holy Prophet, as we 
heard heretofore, did pro 
phecy more then fixty 
yeares among the tennc 
Tribes, even urrill the 
time immediately pre- 
ceding their captivity 


and mifcry,in like manner zslcrcmy and 
did to the other lewes. Now becaufe in the 
worft times God alwayes had a remnant, and 
yet hath: Therefore ic is the Prophets care in 




The Returning Backflider. 

thisChapter which we havegon w w^umirru^ 
them in divers particulars of Reformation s we 
have heard at large : Toreturne tothe Lord, vo take 
words tothsmfelves : which words fas we have 
heard)arcalfo taught them: backt with many 
fweet promifesand incouMgenaents,in Gods an- 
fwer to their petitions. The lafi wherof infifted 
and flood uponwasthis, that God promifeth to 
be like ^greene fare-tree unto Ephraim (who per- 
fonatedall the ten Tribes) Efhraim thought be" 
fore to fliadow and fence himfelfe by Idols, and 
league with other Idolatrous Nations, which 
were like ioac rotten gourd unto them, poore 
fliadows and defences (but faith God) / mil fa a 
fa-tree for fliadow t Epkrwm, to defend him 
from all dangers whatfoever,and thenin the next 
place he ads, 

From me is thy fruit found. 
A/^./r^isagrecnetrec, but it hath no 
fruit, the excellencies of the creatures are ap- 
plyed to God but not the defers. . Therefore 
when companions are taken from the creatures 
and given to God, we muft alway except the 
defe<as, fuppl}wng the fame by fome other 
clearing companfon. So God is not onely a 
\fare-trte for flicker and defence, but he is a fr jfr- 
full tree/o a fare-tree is not, and therefore with 
out comparifon God hath more in him then a- 
ny creature hath. For aU that excellency which 
is in all the creatures is in him, and that in a farrc 
more eminent maaner : therefore he is both 
a flicker and fruit. If a paflenger in diflrefle have 


The Returning Backflider. 

not only z fir-tree to (helter him and fliadow him> 
but a fruit tree alfo to feed him,hc thinkes hee is 
made, when God thus comforts him:So a Chri- 
ftian he hath not only (belter from the wrath of 
God^but he hath alfo a place of reft and quiet, 
the mercy of God to keepc him, and the Word 
and Sacraments to feed him. God is a fruit tree, 
as well as a fine-tree. 

Prom me is thy fuit found. 

That is, whatfoever is gratioufly or comfor 
tably goodtouSjinus, or iffues from us, is all 
from God 5 hence firft of all we obferve for our 

From a mans ftlfc comes nothing that itgratioujly 

Whatfoever is favingly good is altogether 
from God, without me (faith Chrift) yen can 
doe nothing : S.Paul was wondrous chary ofthis 
point, i Cor. 15.10. he faith, he laboured 
more abundantly th(n they all : yet not /, he re- 
calshimfclfe, but the grace of God t* him th*t 
did all: and of my fclfe,asofmy felfe,] cannot 
fo much as tbinke a good though. It is from 
God that we havemeants to make us fruitful), 
and from the gratious working of his Spirit 
comes it that they are effe<3uall; thatwcthinke 
a good thought, or opcnourmouthestofpeake 
a good word, it is from Gods Spirit inabling 
us thereto. Of en thou my mouth, (faith the Pfal- 
mift) andmy lips fiall fiew forth thy fraife. We 
aretoung-tied, andourlips fealed unlcfle God 
open them, we cannot fpeake one favoury fes- 



I fa ad. i a. 
Phil. i. 6. 

Phil. 2. 1 J. 


The Returning Backflider. 

cmable word to further our accompt; we may 

peake empty words, but never a word comes 

rom the heart that is gratious and good, but it is he who works 

all our works in us and for us. He begins the good 

vorke in u^, and perfects it te the day of the Lord, \ he 

ruth of this is wondrous cleare. 

Ifthisbefo,thcn undoubtedly the differences 
n the graces of men it is from another; meerly 
r rom God and Gods Spirit. There is indeed dif- 
crcncc inmen,butthis is originally fetched from 
he grace of Gods Spirit. Thegoodufcoffree- 
domethat we talke fo much of, ins from God, 
as well as the indowments of it. We have free 
will, but the ufe of it is not in our power, to ufe 
thisorthatatourpleafure:for, It u God which 
gives the will and tbt deed, o f his good pleafure. 
Not only the deed, but the will too, tvc ftonld 
make the will an Idollelfe.For fo many wi!s,fo 
many Idols,if wethinkeonemanin himfdfecan 
difference himfelfe by his will. 

Again, in that God faith, jrom me is thy fruit 
found: we may learne hence, * 

Thttjritit that isgratiow comts from w and from 
God too. 

It is our fruit and Gods : fo that there is a 
fubordination of gratious workes under God- 
the fruit we have is from God, yeric is our fruit 
too. How can this be? Yes cafily, wc fpeake 
the words, but it is Goi that opens our lips. 
Webeleeye, but it is God that gives us grace 
tobeleeve. We doe theaftion, but God gives 


The Returning Back/lMer 

us race to do it. God opened the heart ofLyJj* 
tobelecve, fo that God and we meete together 
in the fame aftion. We have parts, underftan- 
ding, will,affc&ions, bodies and foules, there 
fore the a&ions are faid to be ours, becaufe God 
workes in us as undcrftanding creatures, but 
God fets the wheele a going, fo that the adions 
are originally his> and ours fubordinately under 
him . From me is thy fruit found. 

If fo be that God and man joyne in one a&ion, 
From me Is thy fruit found, as though he fliould 
fay, whatfoever thou haft or fayeft that is good, 
it is from me $ here we fee how and why good 
workes cannot merit, though they comefrom 
God,asall goodneffe doth; yet in regard they 
I come from us too,wc add feme tainturc thereun- 
to from our corrupt nature. What God and 
Chrift himfelfe doth is abfolutc and perfeft, as 
Juftification : but what fruit he works in us, there 
is fomcwhat of the old Adam in us, which taints 
the beauty of the work: it is Gods fruit comming 
from him, and yet our fruit alfo comming from 
us: which being fo much tainted fhould humble 
us, in that we add nothing to the truth of Gods 
work in us, but abafcmencand defilement by our 
corruptions : From me ( faith God ) i* thy fruit 
found fa much as is fupernaturally good : but be 
caufe our nature is not altered on the fuddaine, 
but (till tafts of the oldleAvcn, therfore there can 
be no meriting ef falvation bv any workes we 
doe,bccaufe they are not perfectly good. 

Thecleering ofthcfe points in ourjudgc- 

C c mem, 


Wly gud 

worses can* 
ntt mtrit. 

i Co 

for HumUi* 

The Returning Backfliderl 

for infor 
mation of 


meet, they fcrvc to workc in us a dcepe Humili 
ation, feeing that we have nothing in our felves 
but ftaines and defilements; all that is good in us 
comming from God. From me is thj fruit Jewd. 
What is from our felves then, if all good in us 
comes from God ? we are a barren and a curfed 
foylc, nothing that is good can come from us, 
even as the Earth was curfed after Adams fall,and 
wrought forth nothing but briers and thornes, fo 
our fbulc naturally is a curfed foylc in it fclfc, 
and brings forth nothing but weeds and thornes. 
Our hearts are like the barren wildernefle, full 
of evill noyfome lufts and affe&ions. Therefore 
his ferves to abafe us, that we be not liftccf up 
with any good in us, for as that is altogether 
r rooi Gods Spirit, fo likewife we of our felves 
add nothing to it but fomewhat which may di- 
minifl) the value thereof. 

Heere againc for matter of judgement, you 
tiave a difference between the ftatcof naturc,and 
the ftatc of grace,! meane of innocent naturc,for 
in Adam we hadaftandingin our felves, being 
truftcd with our owne good, but now under the 
fecond Covenaar, under the fccond i^fdam, 
Chriftjefus, we have many graces to fit us for 
Heaven, and many good works we doe f but: all 
the fruit we have and yedd is from God. So that 
now this is a grand difference, Ad*m as it were 
had the keeping of his own happines locked up 
in himfelfe, but we have our happinefle, graces, 
and whatfoever is good for us fhut up in Chrift, 
as the fpring andfountaine, which isthereafon 


The Returning Backflider. 

oftheperpetuall ftabillty and permanent condi* 
tion of Gods children, once his and ever his. 
And put the cafe we want this or that helpe, yet 
this prejudiceth not the perpetuity of the con 
dition of Gods children, bccaufe thofe graces 
which come immediately from Gods Spirit, 
may be conveyed fometimes without meanes,ai 
well as with them. Therefore whatfoever decay 
is in the branches that are graf ed into this noble 
Vine Chrift Jefus, in whom wee bare all the 
fruit we beare 5 yet notwithstanding there islifc 
everlaitingforus inthcroote, which is by little 
and little diftilled into us. The leaves may fall, 
outward things may decay, but there is life al- 
way intheroote of aChrifti an, becaufe he is in 
Chrift, and hath hishuit from him : he cannot 
want fruit, no more then Chiift can want influ 
ence and vigor. Which (hewes us the excellent 
(late of a Chriftian under the new Covenant of 
grace,that now we fetch all out of our felves,and 
t is happy for us that we doe fo. For without 
Chrift we can doc nothing, as without the foulc 
he body can doe nothing, fo without the Spirit 
of Chrift we can doe nothing, from him is all. 
This is the rcafon why wcmuftnottrufttoany 
grace in our felves that comes from us, becaufe 
race comes from God in Chrift> truft God the 
pring whence it cornes,whofe the fruit is, God 
he Father in Chrift, from whom all fulnefle 
comes, and is derived unto us : orclfewemakc 
>ut an Idoll of grace, if we truft too much to 
grace, looke to the Spring whence all comes 

C c 2 to 




The Returning Backjltderi 


>BRXI[I* comes to us : From met i* thy fruit found. 

Againe, forfurthei inftrudion $ What is the 
Reafon that fome have more grace then others, 
and more comfort,foraehaving grace and corn- 
fort in one degrce,and fome in another. 

Hence it is, from mte i* thy fruit found: it 
comes from the frcedome of God in Chrift, 
who according to his good pleafure gives the 
will and the deed, whence wee have grace 
fomctimcs in the vigour, fomctimes in a weaker 
and Icffer degree, the fault being in ourfelves 
too: yet notwithftanding there is a liberty in 
the Spirit of,,Chrift, to give a more or lefle 
mcafure of grace, to fhew that our good we doe 
fprings not from our felves. Which alfo is 
the reafon of the difference betwixt Chriftians, 
becaufe God will fhew that he is thedifpofer 
and the difpencer of his owne graces and com 
forts. And th at is the reafon alfo why wee 
muft performs this duty of waiting upon God 
in the ufeof mcanes, though we fiadenofenfe 
of grace, and comfort from him fortheprefent, 
From him ow fruit i$ found Waite hisleafure, 
he fufpends grace and comfort untill a fie time, 
in regard of the degree : but yet there isalway 
fome grace left, though hee fufpends the in- 
create thereof untill a fie time, becaufe hee 
would have us know that it is of his giving. 
Chriftians who are Acquainted herewith, they 
will not tie God to their time, but humbly goe 
on in the ufe of meanes, who though they finde 
not their fpirits and their comforts enlarged fo 


The Returning Backjlicter. 

as at other times, nor fo great, nor asother folkcs 

are, yet can fay, Lord thou giveft the will and 

the deed according to thy good pleafure, all 

comes from thee, therefore I will ufe the meanes 

and depend upon thee, becaufe I have ail from 

thee freely. God gives a fpirit of Prayer, and 

then the thing we pray for,a!l is from him, From 

mt is tbyfiuitfwnd.Doe we find the Oidinanccs 

fruitful!, the preaching of the Word to open 

our understandings, to kindle our affofiions, to 

inlighten our judgements, it is the Spirit of God 

that joynes with the meanes, that are dead of 

rhcmfelves, to make them fruitfull : what are the 

Ordinances without God, but empty conduit 

pipes of themfckcs? therefore, From me it 

thy fruit found. 

This ftiould teach and dire<3 us alfo in all 
things to looke up to God s in all ufe of meanes, 
Lord I may reade, heare, and ufe helpes and 
meanes long enough to little or no purpofe, 
unlctfe thou give ablefling, Paul may plant and 
^ folio may water, but if thou give not fruitc 
from Heaven, all is to no purpofe. We for 
get this, and therefore profpcr accordingly. 
We thinke we can worke fruit out of the meanes 
l>y our owne wit. Oh ! It is not fo, whitfoe- 
ver is comfortable or gratious in the ufe of 
meanes, it ismeercly by Godsblcffin^. And 
therefore feeing all our frnit whatfocver that 
is good come s from God, let it ftirre us up to ; 
praftfe thefpirituallworfhipofGod, to adore 
God, to beg of his fulnclTe in Chart Jefus : and 

Cc* like 




The Returning Back/idcr. 

ikcwifc to rcfignc our fclvcs in all conditions 
unto him, Lord I put ray fclfc upon thce, all 
my fruit is from thcc, thou canft fandific any 
condition unto me. This adoration and refig- 
nation,arc parts of the fpirituall worfhipof God. 
And likewife the fcrvicc of the Lord in fcare and 
reverence, that in ward fcrvicc of the Spirit, all 
depends upon this,that all our fruit is from God: 
therefore I muft (erve him , and ferve him 
as hcc muft be ferved in fpirit and truth. What 
makes a man reverence another * I depend 
upon him, without him Ifinke, will this make 
a man ferve man and will it not make us fcrvc 
God, and ferve him with fcare ? what breeds 
an awfull fcare * this that if he withdraw his in 
fluence I fall into finne, dcfpaire and difconv- 
fort: fo that the ground of all fcarc of God, 
and fervicc fpringing from this fcare, it is from 
hence, that from him all my fruit* all my grace 
and comfort is found, therefore I muft have 
grace to ferve him, as a God in fcarc. For if the 
>ulebe not poffcft and feafoned with this hea- 
veni; Jo&rinc, that all comes from him, then 
furely where is Gods fervice? what becomes 
of it? where is that adoration, and magnifying 
of God in our hearts ? where s that putting ofl 
our fclves upon him in all conditions t 

Againe this inforccth another part of Gods 

fpirituall and heavenly worfliip,cleavingto God 

in our aflfeftions, cfpecially thefe two, in our 

I Faith and Love, that as all comes from and by 

I Chrift Jcius, fo thereby we may draw from him 

i the 

The Returning Backjlidcr. 

the fruit of grace and comfort. So that this fpir 
tuall cleaving and uniting of our foules to Chrif 
it comes from this,that I have all from him,thcr 
fore I muft cleave to him, feeing whatfoever 
fpirituall, holy aud comfortable, I muft hav 
from him. Therforc if we would worfliip Got 
in fpirit and truth as we (hould doe, and fct him 
up in his due place in the foule, let uslabou 
to have our judgements fan&tfied in rhis,that al 
* /comes from God. Ifwevverefurely grounded in 
ithcgoodnefle, mercy and riches of Gods grace, 
and knew that all oar fruit comes and is from 
him, this would make us to conclude, that there 
fore it is reafon that we fliould worfliip him an<i 
depend upon him ftriftly. As the Prophet 
fpeakes of Idols, that they can neither doe us 
good norharme, inforcing that they (hould not 
feare them, fo we may fay of all other things 
diftind from God, they can neither doc good 
nor harme, except God inable them. Will 
you be flaves to men, they cannot doe good nor 
larrne, but as Godufes them whofe crearures 
they arc. Thereforethe- woifhlp of God isalfo 
bunded hence 5 that God does all good or 
larme; if men doe it, they doe it from him, he 
;ives them leave,as it is faid otSbemi, God bid 
lira raileonDiwj/ If they doeusgood, they 
arc his conduits, whereby he derivcth good to 
therefore all is from him ? wefeethenhow 
lithe true and hearty worfliip of God comes 
torn this ; From ms U thy frwt found. 
This fhould make us likewifeas to worfliip 
C c 4 God 


Tbe Returning Back/luten 


p&u 4 : 

{ Dan. t.x.8. 

Heft 4. 

God in fpiritand ia truth ; fo to be rcfolutein 
good caufes whatfocvcr come of if, lookc for a 
ground and then be refolute : becaufe all comes 
from God, who will ftand by us in his owne 
caufe and quarrell. 

But if Ifbrfakethis and that fupport, lihall 
lay open my felfe to injuries and wrongs. 

Marke what the Spirit of God faith: Tee that 
Iwt the Lord hate tbat which it evtff. But if I hate 
that which is evill, Idols^r, As Efhraim here 
doth,I fliail be defpifed and trampled upon.No, 
(faith hc)God preserves thefoulesofhis, he mftbe a 
[hi eld and a buekltr : a Sun and a fhteld, andnogeea 
thing fhallbe wanting to them that lead a godly life, 
God will be a Sun for all good, and z/Irieldto 
keep offall ill, tberfore let us be refolute in gooc 
caufes ; Whence comes all fhifcing, halting, im- 
perfeft walking, and inconftancie in the wayes 
of God ,but from this>that men know not where 
to have men?thcy are not grounded on this,tha 
whatfoever is fruitfull and good comes from 
God, who will give whatfoever is fruitfull and 
good in depending upon him. This made the 
three children mDaniell couragious, they knew 
they fliould have fruit from God ; that is, grace 
comfort and peace, the beft fruit of all.. Anc 
therefore know O King, that we will not wcrflv 
thine idoll, nor fall downe before it. So hoi 
Hctfer being well grounded could fay, Iflpe 
rifl) iferijh : I know the caufe is good and i 
all helpe in the creature be remooved and take 
away,yet I fliail have fruit in God. 


The Returning Backflider+ 

Let us therefore carry this about us as a prin 
ciple of holy life, to know that our good is hid 
up in God, and not in the creature^ fo that ifall 
helpc were taken away, yet we have it imme 
diately , purer and better in the fountaine. What 
if there were not a creature in the world to 
hclpe me ? what if all were againft me t yet 
God may make all their powers and indeavours 
fruitfull. There is fuch fruit from God, that 
he can make the worft things which befallcth 
usftuitfull, when hepleafeth^ there is a blef- 
fingin curfes and erodes, agood fruit in them : 
who can doe himharme that God turneththe 
bittereft things he fuflfers to his good. Let none 
be daunted in a good caufe, bur goe on refolut- 
ly, feeing God hath all in himfelfe. Was not 
Mofcs forty dayes without any earrhly comfort 
on the mount? and Chriftalfo without naturall 
fuftcnration fo long * did not God give light 
without a Snnne in the firft creation ? wee are 
tyedtomeanesbuthcisnov Wethinke if fuch 
friends and helps be taken away, that then all is 
gone,butwhat werethey? werenotthey meanes 
which God ufed at his good pleafure, and can 
not he give comfort \viihout them? yes certaine- 
ly, the greateft comfort and grace is oft-times 
given immediately from God, when he falutes 
the foule by his owne Spirit, as he did Paul and 
Syl<ts in the dungeon, who in thernidft of dif- 
comfort,had their fpirirs inhrged to fing hymns 
at midnight: God referving that comfort for 
that time. Therefore feeing all comfort is 


Mac. 4. z. 

1 6. z j. 




The Returning Btubjlider. 

from God, and hcc is not ryed to this or that 
meanes, nay can blefle all contrary meanes, is 
not this a ground of refolution r 

Therefore now make a Ufe of Comfort of 
it, feeing all fruit is from God, who is in cove- 
nant with his children in Jefus Chrift , and 
who will improovc all his attributes for their 
good, hisWifedome, Goodnefle, Power and 
Mercy, let them therefore take comfort to 
themfelves, that howfoever the world may 
take their friends from them, riches, liberty 
and what you will : can they take God and 
Fruit from them ? No, Frommt is tky fruit found. 
[fthey could take away the Spirit of God, 
jrace and comfort from us it were fomething, 

t can they doc that ? no, the worft they can 
doc, is to fend us to Heaven, to the Fountaine 
of all grace and comfort: fo that in this world 
they cannot caft us into any condition wherein 
wee cannot have communion with God, in 
whom all the fcartered excellencies of the crea- 
:urc are gathered together meeting as it were 
in a center. It is hee that comforts us in our 
friends, that fliewes bowels to us in our mo- j 
thers, wifdome and care towards us in our pa- 
ents. The bowels of a mother, the care of 
afriend, theftrengch ofwifeafliftance, hath he 
not all in himfelfe, if all betaken away ? he hath i 
all. Therefore let Chriftians comfort them- ! 
felves, that they can never bs in a condition 
wherin fruit (hall be taken from them. The r 
joore worldling labours all his life for fruite,! 


The Returning BackJIiJtr. 

I 397 

riches and friends, and when he dyes then his ( S".XIIA 
fruit faileth him and fals, his leafe withercth. 
What becommeth of his fruit then ? he labou 
red for that which yeelds him nothing but vexa 
tion and death. But a Chriftian doth othcrwife, 
he labours forgiace and comforr, rokecpehis 
communion and peace with God, and whenall 
is taken away, either by the injury and wrongs 
of men, or by the extremity of the times, or as 
all will in the houre of death : his fruit is moft 
after, in death and after death, more then can 
be 6y our narrow hearts conceived in the ex 
cellency thereof. O the excellent eftatc of a 
Chriftian 1 imagine fuch a one to have a tree 
that growcs in Heaven, and fends forth fruit 
and branches to him in whatfocver ftate he is in. 
And fo indeed God rcachcth fruit from Heaven 
tothefoulcbcinginprifonand mifery. Herea- 
chcth from thence the fruit of grace, of fpirituall 
ftrcngth and comfort,a bleflcd cftatc. Therefore 
letChriftians comforr themfelves in their cort- 
Amonjb At all their ftuit is from />.-and that God 
efpecially will then (hew himfelfc aboundant, 
when they ftand moft in need of him. Other 
trees bcare no fruit in winter and in ftormes, but 
God giveth fruit moft in the worft rimes. He is 
a God that comfoiteth the abjcd. As ir is 
2 Cor. 7. and here it is faiJ, that in him the faker - 
leffc firtdttk ^Mtrcj - we have moft fruit from 
liim in thewovft rimes, then efpecially hede- 
iightethtoflicw himfclfe a God, when no com 
fort can be had from the creature. 



Agntnft future 

Ffe 7 



The Returning Bickflider. 

Therefore doe not defpaire, but lay up this 
againft evill times, never feareforthe time to 
come. Let the mountaines be caft into the midft 
of the Sea, and let the Earth and all rage, as the 
^falmift fayes, and let things runne upon a 
lead, come what can come, God is where he 
was, and Gods children are where they were, in 
regard of the maine comfort. They cannot be in 
lich a condition, as that they can be deprived 
of their God, and of his affifhnce. From we is 
hy fruit found. Therefore care not for any con 
dition that thou art in, this or that, thou fhalt 
have that condition which fhall becomfortable 
tothce: though many like beafts goeon, and 
looke tor nofruit from God. 

And let this alfo be an Incouragement to 
walke with Godfinccrely and uprightly in all 
times, not fearing any creature, or danger from 
the creature, bccaufe our fruit is from God. 
What ifweloofethisorthat, wee know what 
was faid to **/tmaz,i*h by the Prophet : but 
what fhall become of the hundred talents, faith 
he, God is able to give thee much more, fo in 
the lofle of friends, having this and that tooke 
from us, let us comfort our felvcs, I but God is 
not taken from us. Hee who derives comfort 
by this or that friend, can fupply it better by his 
owne Spirit. And whatfoever we part with in 
a good caufe, let us remember what Chrift 
faith : Hee that parts wit fc father or mother, with 
houfe or land for my fake, frail have a hundredfold 
in this world, and afterwards life everlafling. 


The Returning Backflider* 

Hee fliall have all made up in grace, whichisa 
hundred times better then any thing that is here : 
he (hall have contentment which is better then 
the things thcmfelves : fometimes he (hall mif 
fing one worldly comfort, have more friends 
ftirred up,but howloever in want of one, he (hall 
be fupplied in an other comfort that he never 
dreamt of in this world.So that God is abundant 
to them that fticke clofe to him in fincerity, he 
fliall find him abundant in the things of this life, 
in one com fort or other. 

Therefore by thefc mercies of God here 
mentioned, let us be intreated to be in love 
with the condition of a Chriftianlifej and fay 
zsEfhrAW here, what have I any more to dec 
with my former corrupt courfes, or Idols * give 
a peremptory anfwer to all finnefull courfes and 
fuggeftions, either from others, or from our 
owne corrupt nature. What have I any more to 
doe with you ? No, God (hall be my God, for il 
lean refigne my felfc wholly to God, and re 
nounce the creature and all things elfe, God 
will be as a greeife fart-free* and heare me 5 ] 
(hall look nothing by it. Be then in love with 
a Chriftian courfe, for it is the fweeteft and the 
fated courfe, and never wants comfort from 
Heaven, and it is the moft honourable courfe 
that can be, for it will hold our communion 
and peace with the great God of Heaven and 
Earth : for though we breakc with others, we 
fliall be fure of him. In which cafe take heed 
of that bafe fugzeftion which the Divellhim- 






The Returning BackJIider. 

felfe wasafhamed to ownc, That wefirve God for 
naught. What fhall we renounce Idolatry and 
wicked CQUrfes, and thinkc that God will not 
Slave fruit for use fhall I think if I leave my finne- 
fiill gaine, that I or my poftcrity fhall beg or 
torve for it * doe we fcrve a God that hath no 
tint? that is as a dead tree,or a barren wilderncs: 
No, we fcrve a God that had all in himfelfe be 
fore he made the world, and hath all the excel- 
lency in himfelfc contained in the creatures, ic is 
not in vaine to ferve him : Doth Io& ferve Gedfor 
notl)ing?{3\& the Divell. Therfore it is a fuggeft- 
ion worfe then fatanicall, to think we fcrve God 
for nothing : or to thinke like thofe Hypocrites 
mentioned by theProphetjthat God regards not 
our fafting* or our devotion. No, we fhall not 
loofe a good word for God, not a teare but he 
hath a bottle for it, not a figh or a groane, or a 
farthing, Hot a minutes time wellfpent fhall be 
loft, he will pay us for every ill word we in- 
dure for his fake, for every difgrace, lofTe or 
crofTe, doe we ferve that God there is no fruit 
in ? Ft 9m we it thy fruit found ? 

Whatfocvcr our condition be in the world, 
let us comfort our fcltcs with thefc things, and 
think that it is not in vaine to fervc the Lord : for 
we cannot ferve a richer nor a more kind mafter 
and Lord: Firftofall he gives us opportunity 
and raeaoes whereby fruit may be wrought in 
us,and then he works the fruit of grace and com 
fort in us, and afterwards rewards and crownes 
his own fruit 5 but we add imperfections and in- 


I he Returning Backflider* 


vcntions of our ownc and fo marrc or ftaine 
all, butwcdcalc with agratiousGod in cove 
nant, who pittics us as a Father doth his chil 
dren, accepts and rewards what is his, and par 
dons what is our own.Therforc let this much be 
effc&uall for the guiding of our lives, and com 
forting of us in a good courfe. If we take ill cour- 
feg we muft looke for no fruit from God, but 
fruits of his difpleafure ; if we eatc of the forbid 
den tree, we ihalleate andreapc tbt fruits of Mr 
ewn #4ftt,bicter fruits,for in this cafe JcfusChrift 
who U a fweet Saviour,willbc a Judge to us; and 
he who is the LtmbeofGod will be angry, fo as 
we (lull rcape the fruit of his indignation : In the 
Revelation^ divers are brought in dejiring the hits 
and mount aines to fall npontbemjo cover them from 
the frefenceoftbe Lamb. Let us not therefore turne 
a Tweet Saviour to a rigorous Judge, by adventu 
ring upon courfes wherein we cannot lookc for 
fruit. but let us commend onrfadvestn well Aoin<? 
unto him> as unto a faithful! Creator And Redeemer. 
And as it is, Prov.%. Let M acknowledge himi all 
our rvayes, for it is good to acknowledge and 
looke to him : that is,looke to him for ftrength, 
quickning,fucceffe, grace and light to dire<9: us : 
acknowledge him in all ur waycs, and treafure 
up this comfort, that all fruit u feund from God. 
If we take good courfes, we (hall ever befrtjit- 
j and have fruit from him, outofbttful* 
effi, for ( faith he: ) From me is thy 

frmt found. 
The endoftbe thirteenth Sermon. 



RCT 6,16. 

i Pet.4.i. 






Hos, 14. 9, 

Who. is wife and heejhatt understand thefe 
things ? prudent andhefiattknow them? for 
thewayesofthe Lord are equally the juft 
Jbdl wdke in them, but the tranjgre/ors 
jbaB fall therein. 

wordes fealc up the 
whole Prophecy, for the 
Prophet immediately be 
fore propheeying of the 
captivity 5 difcovers tothem 
at length their finnes as we 
heard, their Idolatry, ad 

ding new Idolsto their former 
Calves, the Princes remooved the bounds, (old 
orders and lawes)the Prophets they were fooles 
and did not feethe judgements of God hanging 
over their heads 5 and none ofthem all could fee 


The Returning Back/lider. 

ot their own 

v * "J - I a 

mine. After which out of a Chnftian love, care 
and confciencecf his duty, by direction of the 
Spirit of God, he prefcribcs an excellent way 
how they ftiould carry thcmfelves, by returning 
to tht^m&jAke words unto your felves> renounce 
all falfe confidence in ^fiur, and all domefticl 
helps at home, horfes and the like, and fly to 
Godwill dotothem,anfwerall the defires hee 
htd put into their hearts: / will heale their Backjli- 
dings and love them freely , &c. 

No wbecaufcthefe were great matters of great 
confequcnce,to make them either happy in the 
you fee how heftiuts up all in a moft weighty 
clofe : vrbo is wife and he [hall underftand thefts 
things prudent andhefiallkvoiv them, for the wajes 
eft he Lord are equally &c. 

W hcr m the fcopc of th Prophet,is to ft ir Bp 
a holy regard of what hath bin fpoken,he would 
nothaveall loft for wane of attention or applica- 
tion,and therefore he here ftirs them up to a ho 
ly ufc of all: which ftirringup is excellently and 
figuratively cloathcd wi r han Epipbonctny .& zc- 
clama.tion,fl^0 is wife andhe fi all under ft a#d the fe 
things,&c. He doth not fay, ler men undt rltand 
thctcthings^bur who if wife and who is prudent ? 
Let them confider of thcfe things, and then tht 
Exhort a*ion is back t with many Reafons. 

I . It is wifdome and prudcnceto regard *hefe 
things that I have fpoken(^/^ if wife and \vh* 
is prudent?) D d 2. And 



S BR . XIV. 

The Returning Back/litter. 

2 . And then again they are the , waies of God 
that are fpoken off,and they are ftraight and 
equall in therafelves. 

3. And they lead to happiaefle dire&ly, 
without winding and turning, a man is fure 
to attaine his journey cs end in them, and if 
they will take example of thofe who onely 
arecxemplary to them ,hetels them tbeluf 
/ball walk in tbem,they fhall not walk alone, 
they (hall have the company of acloudeof 
witncfes, whoprofperandwalke on cheer 
fully in this way, and attaine happineffe in. 
the end. 

4* Then the laft argument is taken from the 
contrary end of all them who cavill and 
frarlcat Gods way es and truth, thatthinke 
themfelves witty to pick quarrels wich fom- 
what in Gods bookish is a common faflri- 
on now a day es to have a divinity of mens 
owne : Tranfgreffirs 9 {uc\\ as are oppofice to 
Gods wzyesjbeyjlatl fall iff tbefe wayesj 
is,thcy take offence at thefe waies and fo fal 
into fin,and by falling into fin,fall inro mife- 
ry.till at laft they fall intoHell,which is the 
end of all quarrellers with divine truth 
they fail and dafli themfelvcs upon them, 
and fo eternally perifh. 
Now thefe are ftrongandforciblercafonsto 
inforce care and attention of what harh bin fpo- 
s ken>it is wifdeweand Prudence, and the wayes of 
\ the L Where trcftreigbt^ and then all gc&y feopl 
I walkeinthem.andthifs -that fumble &t them &r<L 

The Returning Backflider. 

I fare topenfl^And doe pen jb in them ; not that they 
;area caufe of their peri fhing,but by rcafonofthc 
malice of men, finding fault and picking quar 
rels with theoi,they fal firft into fin 5 and then jn- 
ito mifery,thus we have the fcope of the words 

Who is wife *n d he ft all under ft and the fe things. 

Firftof all, wemuftknow that the Prophet 
(here in this figurative fpeech makes a kind of ex- 
fclamation,*p/j0 is wife? he doth, as it were fecret- 
jly mourne at the Apoftacy and fevvnefle of thofe 
jthat be truly wife.asifhehad (aid, I have given 
you many dire<5lions,and fhe wed you what fins 
lead todeftru&ion, J have fhewed what courfe 
yc are to take, and the bounty of God to thofe 
that Return:but,FF/tf is wife and prudent te regard 
t he fe things? 

In the words therefore (in regard of the 
fpcakcr,thc Prophet) we may obfcrve this ere 
we come particularly to them:, the charafter 
of a holy, merciful!, gratious, and wife man, 
that when he hath fpoken things to excellent 
purpofe, he would not have thofe things loft, 
but out of mercy and corftpafli >n mingled with 
a great deale of heavenly wifdomc, would have 
the beft fruit of all he hath fpoken. Which 
was the cuftome of the men of God in the 
Scriptures, the Spirit of God leading thcmto 
ftrikethenaile home, when they taught truths 
to lay the word clofe upon the conlcicnce, 2$ 
much as they could. What is the whole book 
of D enter enemy y asthcwordfignifieth, but a re 
peating of the former lawes? tJMofcs thought 

D d 2 all 





Mat 7.14. 


The Returning BackJIider. 

all to no purpofejunles he repeated laws^and faft- 
ned them upon the foule : fo our Saviour Chrift 
ftill when he had fpoken excellent things, faith, 
Let bint that hath eares to hewe, heart, So faith lerc- 
^vho Is wife to confide* thefe tbi#%s?ttd the con- 
clufion of that excellent le^/is juft thus,w^ 
is i^ife to confictcr thefe things? and Dent, 3 2 . faith 

ofsiO that they were wife, that they would think 
of tbefe things >&c. So every where in Scripture 
you have fuch faftning of things where truthcs 
have bin fpoken in application of them : which 
doth juftifiethe courfe of Gods MelTengers in 
bringing the Word home u^to metis canfcicnces a 
becaufc that which is fpoken loofely in general, 
no man ipplyeth in particukrto himfelfc, wee 
who are M eflcngers of God^muft therfore bring 
things home to the confcience : whs 
fh*8 under ft and tht ft things fez. 

But that which more neerly concern eth us, is 
wheras firft of all he propounds this exhortation 
to regard thefe things under this holy acclamati 
on.-)^ is wife affdwho is prudent? we fee firft ofal, 

That there are butfiw who are truly wife 

Few that enter the right way : for our Saviour 
fheweth that narrow is this way>avdfew there be<LJ 
that find it.~$\\z point needs not much proofe it is 
fo plain 3 and well known, whcrforc it is now tou 
ched only making way to other things.ThcRca- 
fon hereof is cleere. 

Moftmenwefeelivebyfcnfe,wi!l andpaflt 
on 3 and notbyfaicb, whefby they inthrallthej 


The Returning Back/Iidcr. 

the wifdome they have, andrmkcitprifoner to 
(inful 1 pafTunsand aflfcdii ws, rejecting thoughts 
of theirowne future happineflfe: and though it 
behove them in this world to be broken of their 
will : yet they will have it here,though they pe- 
rifh and be damned (or it hereafter. This isthe 
fta e of the unbroken heart of man till he have 
grace in him. Yea it is the ftate of all men, efpe- 
jcially thofe that are puft up,either by their own 
place,humour,orthc flattery ofothets,they will 
have their will: Mens rnhifro RC^KO^S one faid. 
Now this being the proud poy fonfull nature of 
man, we muft notthinkeitaftrangc thing, that 
there are fo few wife and prudent.-for a man can- 
not be wife and prfflionate, for hispafliontnjnf- 
formcshim tobcabeaft,a Divell. Nowbecaufe 
moft men live by fenfeand by humour, which is 
a life they are nuzled infefpecially thofe that are 
fubjrdt to flatterers) therefore few come to be 
truly wife and prudent, to have fo much ftedi- 
neffe and fobriety of fpirit, as to deliberate what 
is to be done. They will not in cold blood give 
leifure to their humors (but feed them) to con- 
fider what is bcft.This being the humour of the 
world, no wondcnhat there be fo few prudent 
and wife. 

Since things are thus,learne this of if, if there 
Jbefo few piudent and wife, as the Prophets 
I complaincin all times. To whom is the arme ef 
the Lord rtvetled; and, mho brib bclcevcd our 
j rcpirt&c. Then take heed of living by ex 
ample, that we be no: led away with the fway 

D d j and 








Returning Backflider. 

and error of the rimes : for feeing there are few 
wife andfrudeKtjt is better and faf er to follow one 
man reformed by judgement, then a thoufand o- \ 
thers, one man is worth a thoufand who is led ] 
with judgcmentand by the Spirit of God. 

And likewife take nofcandall, if you fee men j 
run upon heaps in the broad and woift way, fori 
that men have alway es done, it is the complaint | 
of all the Prophets in all times^calling the better 
fort fcwi&tfa grapes after the vintage^ like a few 
fcatteredears ofcerwe after haw eft .-one of a titty ,and\ 
two of a Tribe few of alL Therfore now let us 
fealc this truth with this exhortation. 

That we labour t be of that few that are 
truly wife and prudent, examine, are wee of 
thofc fewornot? and what have we in usthat 
may fecure us to be of this (mail number ; for if 
we be not,vve fliall never be faved.For Chrifts 
flocke if a little flocke; and few there be that 
(bail enter in at that ftraite gate: what haft then 
then which may difcover unto thine owne 
foule that thou art of that number, and not of 
the common multitude that Chall be damned? 
it is a thing worth the inquiring of our foules^ 
vvhathavevvein us that may charaftcrife us to 
be Gods true fervants, Chrifts true children, 
and members of the Church? and never reft in a 
common perfwafion of common grace, which 
caft-awayes may have as well as we. We muft 
ftrivefor fomediftind grace that reprobates can 
not attain wro. . \ 

Wfox wife and be ft) all uvdtrft&td jhefc things, 

The Returning Backflidcr. 

But to come more particularly to the 
words , Who ii rvift And hee fl)<t!l under ft and 
theft things^ The holy man of God hccre in 
his Exhortation, naming Wiftdomc ^ fingling 
our wife And prudent men 3 who is *>ifc-*> 
And \vlio is prudent? hee touchcth men up 
on the quicke fight veine, for who is there 
that would not bee thought wife and pru 
dent ? A corrupt man naturally rather defires 
tobeethonghc finfull then weake, judge him 
as you vvifl> fo yon judge him not to be an un- 
wile, an imprudent man. A proud man till he 
befubduedand humbkd,had rather bethought 
difhoneftthcn (imple, bccaufe if hee be dif- 
honcft, hee thinkcsit is out of choice: but to 
be fimple, this arguech imperfection, and not 
freedoms and bravery of fpirit : therefore it be 
ing the naturall defire and inftind:ofall men to 
be thought wi(c and to be fo, hee endeavours 
to worke upon that affection in them, Who 
is rvife&c. Well, faith he, I knew you all dc- 
fire to be thought wife and prudent men, would 
you make it good that you are fo indeed? bc- 
leevc my layings, thists the way, whofocver 
is wife let him underftand thefe things, and hee 
that is prudent let him hearken to thefe things 

Man at firft when he had communion with 
wifcdome it fclfc was a wife creature till he 
hearkened to Sathan nnd fo loft all,*^wr*f 
as the bcafls which perift. Yet in that glorious 
building, fince the corruption of nature this 
D d 4 among ft 




Definition of 

do we. 

Definition of 


The Returning Backflider. 

amongftthatrubbifbis referved, that above all, 
things there is a dcfire to be happy and wife ! 
which t wo dtfires are naturally the leading dc~j 
fires in men> To defmto dot well, and to he wife. 
Therefore the Prophet here upon that which is 1 
left in mans nature takes advantage to build true 
wifdomcand knowledge indeed. 

Tocometheninbriefetofliew what this //! 

meaiidfMdcnctis, for there is fome diftindion 
between Wifdome andPrttdence.Wiftlsme is a hca-l 

vcnly light fbt up in the fou! by thcSpirit of God, j 
whcrby it diicerneth the general! truths conccr- 1 
ning God ; our felves,theftateofthc Church,the| 
priviledgesof Chriftianity,and fuch likcrin fum 
itisarigtit divine apprehenfion of fpirituall 

And Prudence, this is a kinde of fharpeneffe 
of fpirit, whereby the vSpirit of God dire 61s the 
(oule, knowing the right general! principles to 
particular cafes. Prudence is an application of 
the generall knowledge of general things to 
particulars, and is an ordering of the life in par 
ticular exigences and cafes in a right order, ac 
cording to the dircdion of the Spirit, as we 
have h.Prov.S.I wjfJomc dwell with irttdwce. Di 
vine Wifdome wherefoever it is dwels with 
Prudence y ihnr is, where God dorh inlighten 
the underftanding to conceive aright of the mi- 
fieriesofia!vjtion-,thereir dwcls with prudence, 
thati$,it directs the foule to an orderly carriage 
of life towards God and man, and in regard of it 
felfr, every way as it jfhoulddoc, inailcftares, 

The Returning Back/IiJtr. 

times and conditions, that is meant here by frn- * 
particular gift vvhcrby a man is fit to con- 

fult and deliberate of things in particular to be 
done, in particular cafes of confcicnccs, and the 
like. Now wifdomandfrttderjcc they arc both to 
gether in Gods people, howfoever perhaps one 
ismorecxcellentthenanother. Some arc wifcr 
who have* deeper fearch of truths in generall: 
and fome are more prudent in their waies, thar 
are weaker Cliriftians for the mainc gcnerall 
truths. Yet there is not a goodChriftian, but he 
hath h much prudence as will bring him to Hea 
ven. But God giveth extraordinary wifdcme to 
Tome, becauf e they ;;re leaders of others. Yet 
though in Gods difpcnfntion there be a dif 
ference, yet in every Chriflian they are joyncd 
together, there is no Chriftian but he is wife 
for himfdfe, which is Tndwcc. This is as if 
wcrethcrfalt which feafoncth all other graces,; 
and knowledge whatfocver: for what is know- 1 
ledge without difcretion, but a fooliflj hu-j 
mour^f what is but block iflmefTc, ifj 
a man doe not difcernc how, why and uponj 
what ground to he patient ? what is Rcligiouf- ! 
nc-fTc without this, but fupcrrfthion, and what 
isZealebutan indifirreet heate, ifitbecnot fca j 
foned with this Prudence^ yea, and what isj 
Conftancy it fclfe, but an indifcrcct rigour and 
ftifneffe without wir. So that it is the feafoning 
of all other graces whatfoever, that which puts 
bounds cncf meafurc unto all: Therefore hee 
joynes it with Wifdome, who is wfe and.vh u 




Signes ofworld- 


The Returning Backflidtr. 

confifts of a whole entire 
caufe, unto which muft be occurrence ofall cir- 
cumftances together, one defe&tmy make it to 
be finfull.So this is Prudence to dbferve a due or 
der cloathed with circumftances of the manner 
and feafon of every good aftion and duty,there- 
fore he joynes here Prudence Who uwifeandbc<Lj 
fhallundcrflandtbefe things ) prudent and he flail 
know them? 

Nowthefebethetwo graces that Jeade arid 
guide a mans life : there muft be firft a generall 
underftanding and light ofthefoule, and then 
there muft be a particular light to apply this ge 
nerall to particulars. Prudence 1$.$$ it were, the 
fteward of the foule,which difpenceth the light 
therof according to particular ccafions, 

Now for Wifdome And Prudence, vi t will not in- 
fift longonthem,only we will draw towards a 
right difcerning cf them fquared and proportio 
ned to pur undci (landings byrefemblanorsofo- 
therthingsrforamanmay know what they are 
in divine things 5 byfome proportion to humane 
things.what they are there,as to give a little light 
to it. 

He is a ivife,frudent man in the world that will 
befuretomakethegreatefthisfriend. So God 
being the greatcft of all and moft able to do us 
goodjheisawife and prudent man that makes 
him his friend,and cares not who he break with, 
fo he break not with God. 

Aod we account him alfo a wife and prudent 
man inthe world, that like the wife fteward in 

The Returning Back/lider. 

4 3 


the Gofpcll provides for the worft times : what 
courfe did he take for himfelfherein,he provides j 
for,as he fore-fees danger.So fpiriruall wifdomc 
and prudence will direft a man what is beft for 
his latter end 7 hiseternall reft and happines in a- 
nother world. Heavenly wifdome prefixcth to a 
man a full view of his latter end, and that which 
followeth thereupon in another world, and fo 
makes him provide before hand, and direft all 
things to that end. A wife man will not have 
things to leek, when he comes to make ufe of 
them,like the foolifli Virgins who had their oy le 
to feek when they flieuld have had it ready. He 
is truly fpiritually wife towards his latter end, 
that as he knows there is a ftate to cotnc,fo is tru 
ly prudent to have all things ready againft that 
time; hat confidcring the uncertainty of this life, 
he may not be furprifed unawares, likathofe glo 
rious virgins who had a lamp without oy le. 

And a-nongft men he is alfo counted a wiJLs 
and frttdcnt man, that makes a right choice, for j 
this is wi/Jome, when a man difcerneth a dif 
ference, andanfwerably maizes his choice. 5/-i 
m.lemAter errors, faith one, LikenefTe is the mo- ! 
ther of crrour.Therc is a likeneife between good \ 
and bad in the world,and betwcene truth and cr- j 
rour, now he is a wife man, who is not carcht 
with thefe rcfcmblances, but difcerneth a diffe 
rence between tcmporall andccernall things,flia- 
dowes an d fiibftances, realities and appearances 
of things, and fuitably chooferh eternals be- 
fore temporal3,the favour of God before the fa- j 





Tlie Returning Back/lifter. 

vourofmen, and in a word thofe things which 
concernecverlafting happines,before thofe that 
are pcrifhing^//^* i s fcen in choyce.By thefe 
fewinftances named,, we may fee what heaven- j 
ly wifdome andpruJwels, by proportion of w/f. I 
dome and prudence in carihly things. Nowcon- 
fidering that there is a better fhce in another 
world then in this,herouft needs be a wife man 
that orders things fo,as that he may not loofee- 
ternky. Moft men in the world are penny wife 
and pound foolifh,as we fayrwife ro a particular 
cnd,to get particular favors and riches,fb to farif- ! 
fie their intcntions:but for the main which is w/VC 
^^indeed,to look to their lafteftate andhappi- 
nes,and to fit their adions and courfes that wav 
howfcwarewifetopuipofc? how few provide 
for eternity? therfore no marvell the Prophet 

live by ienfeand not by Faith. 

Whi is wife and heflmtt nndzrjl and thefe things? 
prudent and he (l)allktiow them? 

Now the next thing to be obferycd hence is 
thi$,T,M the wife & prudent only know thefe things. 

can know divine Truths and make ufe of them- 
and then obferve further, That true mfdtm and 
prudence carries men to Gods Word. Who is wife to 
underftandthefethinrs? by divine truth weegrow 
rwydr/Wm,the Spirit joyning wirhtheftme, \ 

& then we come to make a right ufeof the: there) 
muft be firft a fpititual wftom&prudence\K\\*\x- \ 
nedby theSpiric>erewecan make ufc of the word! 
Jj aright*. 

The Returning Backjlider. 

aright to taftc afcd rclifh it. Becaufc though the* SiR.XIV. 
word be light,yet light alone is not fufficicnt co 
caufe fight, but there muft concur unto the out 
ward light an inward fight.-gracemuft illuminate 
theunderftandingand put a heavenly light into 
the foule. As by the light within meeting with 
the light without, the eye being the inftrument 
of fight, applying it felfc to the thing, thence 
comes fight. So there be divine truthes out of us, 
wherwit h when the Holy Ghoft puts an inward 
light into the foul Dandified mfdom Midfrudc*ce> 
thea the inward light meeting with the light 
without,we fee and apprehend. The Spirit ther- 
fore muft joy nc to work Wifdomt and Prudence. 
Naturally we are all dead and have loft our fpi- 
rituall fcnfes, therfore the Spirit of God muft 
work in us fpirituall fences>fight and taft ; that we 
may fee,difccrn Scre^fh heavenly things ; which 
ere we can do,there muft be an harmony betwixt 
thefoulc and the things >that is the foule muft be 
made fpiritua^anfwcrable to the heavcnlythirgs 
pitched upon^or els if the foul be not fet in a futa- 
ble frame 5 it can never make a right ufc of them. 
Now when the underftanding of a man is 
made wife by the Spirit of God, it will relifh 
Wifdome and Prudence. For the Spirit of God to 
gether with the Scripture takes the fcales offthe 
eyes of the foule, fubdises rebellious paffons in 
the affcftions, efpecially that rebellion of the 
will,putting a nev/reliflVin all,(o asthcy come to 
love,afFc& and joy in heavenly things. Now 
whenthefefcalcsof fpirituall blindnes nrefal- 

The Returning Backflider. 

SflR.XIV* j cn O ff c hc eyes of the foule, and when rebellion 
is removed from the will and affcdions,then it i s 
fit to joyne and approve of heavenly things, elfc 
there is a contrariety and Antipathy betwixt the 
foule and thefe things: as the body when the 
tounge is affedcd with fome aguifli humor, can- 
not rclifh things, though they be never fo good, 
but affe<5h and relifbethall things futing that di- 
ftemper. Soit is with the foule when it isnot in- 
lightned,it judgeth all things carnally, there be 
ing an Antipathy between the foule and divine 
t ruths brought home unto it,per haps a foule not 
inlightned or fanftified will apprehend the gene- 
rallitics of truth very well: but when they are 
preffed home to pra<flife 3 then unles the foule be 
changed, it will rifeupandfwellagainft divine 
truths,and rejcd the pradifeof them. Without 
fubduing graceto alter and changethe foule, the 
affe&ions thcrof are like the March Suns, which 
ftir up a great many humors, but not fpending 
them,they breed aguifli humors and diftempers. 
So the light of the word in acarnall heart, it 
meets with t he humors of the foul and ftirs them; 
but if there be not grace in the foule to fubdue 
thefe affc&ions, it ftirs them up to be the more 
malicious,efpecially if they be preft to particu 
lar duties in leaving of finfull cdurfes: fo that the 
Spirit of God muft alter the under/landing, and 
fubdue the will and affe&ions,cre there can be a 
conceiving of divine truths favingly. Therfore 
before thefe a<5ls r he joy nes thefe graces : Who is 


The Returning Backflider. 

4 7 

The ufc hereof is this much, not tocomcto 
the divine truth of God with humane affe&ions 
and fpirits,but to life up our hears to God. Why 
Lord as things themfelves are fpirituall, fo make 
me fpirituall, that there may be a harmony be 
tween my foulc and the things 3 that as there is a 
fweetrelifh in divine truths, fo there may be a 
fweet taft in me,to anfwer that relifh which is in 
divine truths, that the wifdome of thy word and 
mywifdomemay be one, then a man is wife. 
There is notthecommoneft truth, or pra<fticall 
point in Divinity,but it isa miftcry and muft be 
divinely underftood,and muft have frttdtnce to 
go about it as we fbould do.Repentance and the 
knowledge of fin,it is a miftery 5 till a man be f an- 
<5Hfied in his underftanding, he can never know 
what fpirituall mifery is 5 tillthe inward man bee 
inlightned and fandlificd to know what a contra 
riety there is between fin^nd the Spirit of God. 
As no man can know throughly what ficknes is, 
but he that hath bin fick, for the Phifitian doth 
not know ficknes fo well as the patient who feels 
it.So it is with a holy man fanfrfied by the Holy 
Ghoftjtcll him of fin,he feels it,and the noifbm- 
ncs of it,the oppofitionof it to his comfort and 
communion with God. Only the fpirituall in 
lightned man can tell what Repentance,fin,for- 
rowfor fin,and rhe fpirituall health of che fbu! is. 
Therefore it is faid here, Who u wife, and who- is 
prudent? and he Jhall under ft and thcfe t 

The end 







Hos. 14,9. 
Who is wife and beJbaH und&fland tbefc, 

tbingtfprudenf and be/ball know tbem? for 
the wayes of the Lord are right, 

JbaBwalke in them, bu 
JbaQfall therein, 

T length by divine 

?P ce w f - are C0f ne unto 
theconclufionofthis ftort 
Chapter, wherin the Holy 
Ghoft from God hath 
ihewed fuch bowels of 
~- ^,w ,.-- mercy and tender cotnp.- f- 
fionuntomiferable finners, incouraging them 
toreturneuntotheLord, by many and fevcralj 
arguments,bcing formerly infifted upon : our 

The Returning Backflider. 

laft worke was to fliew you what 
prudence was, the difference of them, and how 
that none without thefe endowments are able to 
know and makeufc ofdivinctruthes and mifte- 
ries of Religion. Who if wife and htfidllunJerflan 
thefe things ? pruJwt a^hcfha^l kn&w them?&c. 

We came then to fhrw that there muft be 
Prudence and Wifdmt> before we can underftand 
divine Truths, there muft be an illumination 
within : it is nor fufficient to have the light of the 
Scripture outwardly, but there muft be a light 
of the eye to fee : there muft be wifdome and Pru 
dence gathered from the JScripcures. Now 
Wifdome and Prudwcc^f they be divine ( as here 
is meant ) it is not a difcreet managing of out 
ward affaires of our perfonall condition, but an 
ordering of our courfc to Heaven-ward. Where 
fore a man may know whether he be wife and 
prudent by his relifhing of divine Truthes, for 
orherwife hee is not wife and prudent in thefe 
things which aiethemaine. 

Now having (hewed, that onely the wife and 
prudent can conceive and make a right ufe of 
thefe great things delivered, he comes to fhew 
and defend the cquiry ot Gods wayes, how 
crooked foever they fecme toflefh and blood : 
thefe things ought to be hearkned unto, becaufe 
they arethe wayes of God. 

The wayes of the Lor dare right. 

By wajes here hee underftaadctn the whole | 
Law and Gofpell, the whole word of God, ; 
which he calleth r/e/^,not onely becaufe 

E e I.They \ 

SB*. XV 

Tbe Returning Backfltder. 


Gods tvayes to 


1. They are Righteous in themfelves t but 

2. Becaufe they reforme whatfoever is 
in us andret tifie us, and 

j. Worke whatsoever is netdfiM for oar good 

Now more particularly,^^ wayes arc 

1. Thofc wayes wherein he walks to MS : or 

2 . The wayes that he frefcribes us to walk m^ and 

3. Our waycs as they are conformable to bis. 
Any of thefe are the wayes of God, of all 
which more hereafter. 

The wayes wherein he walkes to us, becaufe 
many of them are untraceable as unfei cheable to 
us,are not here meaftt. As thofe tfEletiion, Pre- 
dejtination and Reprobation: the reafons whereof, 
if we take them comparatively, cannot be fcar- 
chedout, why God fhould take one and not ano 
ther, it is an unfercheable way. But take a man 
(ingle(out ofcomparifon)the wayes of God will 
appeare to be right, even in that harfh decree 
which many men {tumble fo mqch ar, for none 
are ever brought in the execution of that decree 
to be damned, but you (hall fee the wayes of the 
Lord right wh a long time together offers then" 
a great dealeof mercy,which they refufing, anc 
refilling the Holy Ghoft,taking wilfully contra 
ry courfes., work out their own damnation. So 
that at length the ifFue of thofe unfetchabl< 
wayes will appeare to be right in every particu 
lar, howfoc^er the comparative reafon at th< 
firft, why God fingles out one nun and not ano 
ther will not sppeare. 


The Returning Backflider. 


As for the tvayfs of his Providence,^ governing 
the world and ruling of his Church, this is the 
way of God which is right: all which wayes 
though we cannot in all particulars fee in this 
worlds yet inHeaven in the light of glory we 
(hall fee what cannot now befeene in the light 
of grace and nature. For there be mifteries in 
Providence , who can tell the reafon why of men 
equally good one ftiould be forely affli<3ed, and 
the other (hould goeto Heaven without anyaf- 
fliftion in a fmooth way ? none can give a reafon 
of it, but wemuft fubfcribe to the hidden wif- 
dotneofCiod, whole way cs are unfcrchcable in 
\\\$?rovid:nce^ yet are they moft right, though 
they be above our conceit. If we could conceive 
all Gods wayes, then they were not Gods 
wayes: for in his waiesto us he will fo carry 
them as he will fli?w himfelfe to be above and 
beyond our ftallow conceirs. 

But the wayes efpecially here meant, are the 
wayes which he prefcribesus to walkein, and 

they are,^ , 

1 . What we wtift Mtifvc^nd then, 

2. WkAtmwnftdoe, there is, 
firft^obedhnct of Faith, w\& then 

obedience of Life_j. 

Thefc are Gods wayes prescribed in the word 
and only in the word. 

Now ourrvays, when they joync with Cods 
n^5,thatis, whenourlife, purpofesand ^dc- 
fires of the inner-man, in our fpt>eches 5 carnage 
and convention agree with Gods wayes, then j 

E e 2 ifl 




Tbs Returning Baekfliden 


V^ipf ome fore they are Godswayes, the juft frail 
walkw them. They fhall walk in thcfe waies,that 
isjin thofc waics which God prefcribeih. As for 
thofc waics wherein God walkes to us, we have 
not fo much to do here to confider them. But by 
walking in the wayes which he prefcribes, we 
(hall feelethat his wayes to us will be nothing 
but mercy and truth. The wayes of the Lord an 
right, thofe w.ayes that he prefcribes to men to 
be beleeved and done, they are right & ftreighr, 
that is, they are agreeable to the firft rule ot all. 
Right is the judgement and will of God: He is 
the firft truth and the firft good, the prime truth 
and good 5 which muft rule all others^ tJWtnfura 
met/brans ,M they ufe to fpcake in ^chooles,the 
meafurethat mcaiures all other things: for all 
other thingsare only fo farre right,as they agree 
to the highcft meafurcofall, which is Gods 
appointment and will. So the wayes of God we 
faidtobe^^/, becaufethey agree to his word 
and will : they are holy and pure, as himfelfe 
is juft, pure and holy. 

The WAJCS of the Lord aye right. 
Right, as they agree to that which is right 
and (height, and right likewife, becaufe they 
leaddiredlyco anghtend. We know a right 
I line is that which is the (borteft betweenc two 
tearmes, that which leads from point to point 
is the fhoitcft of all other lines. So Cods wa 
are right and freight, there are no other wayes 
which tend dircdly to happincffr, without 
error, but Gods wayes, all other wayes are 


The Returning Backflider. 

crooked wayc$. So Gods waycs arc right, as 
they looketo God, and as they lookc unfo nil 
other infcriour courfcs : they arc right to ex 
amine all our waves by, being the rule of them. 
And they are right, as they lookc to Gods will 
and are ruled by him. 

The way fs of the Lord are right. 
Hence obferve we in the firft place, that the 
firft thing we (hould looke too in our convcrfa- 
tion,muft be to know this for a ground, 

That man u not dfrcfcriber of his owne way, and 
that no creatures mil it a rule. 

We mud imbrace therefore no opinion of 
I any man, or any courfe inpyncd or pvefcribcd 
i by any man, further then it agrees with the firft 
truth and the firft right, Cods rvaycs are right : 
right, as a ftandard that is a menftireto meafurc 
all other meafures by. So Gods will and truth 
revealed is aright rule, and the meafurc of all 
other rules whatfoever. DiredHons therefore 
which we have of things to be belcevcd and 
done from men, muft be no further regarded 
then as they agree with the firft ftandard. Ther- 
fore they aremiftaken, and defpcrately mifta- 
kcn, that makeanv mans will a rule, unlefTc it 
bcfubordinatetothat which is higher, at which 
time it becommeth all one with the higher rule. 
When a man fubordinates his dire&ions to 
Gods, then Gods and his nreallorr. Other- 
wife without this fubordinarion , wee make 
men cods, when wee make their will a rule of 
our Obedience. The rvaies of the LerA are right. 

E e ? But 



Tbe Returning Eackjliden 

SB K. X V. But of this onely atouchby the way: themaine 
point hence is 


Pro y. 30 

i Tim. 3.1 6, 


The Word of the Lord is every W4y perfect and 
britgs us to perfection. 

Aswcmay fee atlargeproovcd.P/ip.^&c. 
Where whatfoever is good, comfortable, pro 
fitable or delightful!, either for this life or the 
life to come, is all to be had from thence. And 
the Wifeman faith,!; iwji wordofGod i*pure,&c. 
A fitnilitude taken from gold which is fined till 
it be pure, asitisexprefledinanotherplace, 7hs 
words ofthe Lord, ire pttre words, atfilver tryedin 
d fornace of earthy and purtfed feven times. And 
fo the Apoftle to Timothy. ^All Scripture is gi 
ven by infiirttiw of God, and is pro fit able fir Do- 
tfrine,for Correction, for Reproofe for Inftructio# 
in Righteoufnefft, that the man of God may he per - 
fet fhrottthly formfeed unto aU^drvorkes. 

Since then the wayes of God are fo right, 
juft, pure and perfedt, this is fir ft for Reproofe of 
them that add hereunto: as our Renvdiadver- 
faries^ who do herein by their traditions and ad 
ditions, condemne God either of want of Wife- 
dome, Love and Goodneffe, or ef all. So as all 
defedh charged upon the Word, are charged 
upon God himfelfe, who did not better provide 
and fore-fee for his Church what was good for 
it.. But the Wife man condemned! thisthcirau- 
( daciousboldnes,where he faith, AddihounrtiM- 
\ tvhis words, leafthereproovetbee, and t hot* be found 
\ alyar. They barre reading of the Scriptures, or 
: to read them in cnglifli efpecially, Icaft the 

The Returning Backslider \ 


people become Hcrericks. They thinkc it fafc 
to reade their pwne bookes and idledrcames, 
but rejeft the Word of God, and then ( as le- 
remy fpeakes ) What mftJhm if in them ? Surely 
none at all, for the only wifedomc is to be go 
verned by Gods moft holy Word. 

A^ainc, it is for Inftru&ion unto us, to reft 
and rely upon this fo holy, right, pure and per- 
fcdl word. Since it is fo furc and firmc, we arc 
to reft upon the Promifes, and tremble at the 
threatnings, though we fee not prefent perfor 
mance of them, becanfe not one of them (hall 
Failc. For (farh Chrift) Heaven and Earth \ 
frail pafi avay^ but one jot and tittle of the Law { 
Hull not fait. What maketh fo many judge- 
ments to overtake men, but their unbelicfc { 
what made their carcafes to fall in the wilder- 
ncffe, fo as they conld not enter into the land 
of Cavaa*, but their unbelicfe . for ( faith the 
text of them ) They conld not enter, bccaufe ofun- 
beliefe. Infidelity and not bcleeving God, is 
the rootc and caufc of all our woe. It beganne 
with our firft Parents, and it cleaveth too clofc 
unto us, even unto this day. This commcth 
from our Atheifmc and fclfc-Idvc,that if a mor- 
tall man promife or fwcare unto us, we beleeve 
him and reft upon his word : but all that the 
great God can doc unto us by Promifes, Com- 
mandemcnts, Tbreatnings, Allurements, and 
gratious Examples, will not make us givccre^ 
dit to his word, but rather believe Satan, anc 
our owne falfe and deceitful! hearts. As for in- 

E c 4 fiance, 

SB*. XV. 

rfe. 2. 

Hcbi| . I5>( 


The Returning Backfliden 


2LXlftance,God hath promifed, that if our fins wtrtas 
latfcarlct, yet he will make them whiter then the 
fnow, though they be never fo ftrong for us, y ct 
he hathfromifcd to fubduc our wants be ne 
ver fo great, yet if we willtiuftin God he hath 
promifed to relieve us,and hathfaid, that hewitt 
not fait w nor for fake ut, if we call our care upon 
him.So for the threatnings,we muft beleeve that 
there is never a one of them, but they (hall come 
to pafTe, as fure as the promifcs fhall be made 
good.If thefe thoughts were firmely fetled in us, 
that the wayes of the Lord are right, and therefore 
muft be all accomplished in their time, it would 
make us reftleffeto flic from fin, and the punifli- 
ments threatned, which all lyeatthedoore, and 
will quickly be upon us, if they be not avoyded 
by found and hearty Repentance. 

Laftly,if every commandement be right fure 
and juft, then when God comrnandeth doe ir, 
though the apparent danger be never fo great 
and though it be never fo contrary to fleih and 
blood, pleafure, profit or preferment, yet 
know it is firmeand fuie,and that cur happinefle 
ftands in doing it, our mifcry in difobeying it. 
As we know it was with <^fdam : what afud- 
daine change did his difobedience worke in 
himfelfe^aiirhe world fince being leavened with 
that miferable contagious fall of his. And for the 
whole word, this is a general!, we never want 
any good, but for want of love and obedience 
unto it. Great profperity [ball they have ( faith Da 
vid) who love thy law, and no evittfcallcoweunto 


Ihe Returning Back flitter* 


them. And we never had nor (hall have any hurt, Si* JCV, 
but from ourunbeliefe and difobedience tothc 
holy, pure and perfeft word of God, which is 
attended with comfoitand profperity here, and 
cndleffe glory hereafter. 

The wayes of the Lor dare right. 
In the next place, if the wtyesoftbe L$rd be 
right And flreight, fo ftreight that they leadcdi- 
redly to the right end,thc n it is cleere, 

That the fafl way to come to a good and right en A olferv. 

is to take Gods wayes. For it is a right way , and the 

right way is alwaycs the fhortcft way. Therefore 

when men take not Gods wayes, prefcriptions 

andcourfesjthcy gowidcabou^and feldomeor 

I never come to their intended end. Gods VPAJ is 

j the tight way, and therfore brings a man to his 

right end. Sometimes men will have their tur- 

! nings, their divcrttcuU and vagaries, but they 

. find by experience that Godsrvtyes theyarethe 

; right wayej, fo as they never attaine to comfort 

. and peace untill they come againe into thofe 

i rr^w.Goduntillthenfuffrreththemtobcfnared 

! and hampered.and to eatc the fruit of their ownc 

! waies, and then chey fee the differenceof Gods 

waies and theirs, and that Gods waies are the 

beft^and the ftreigbteft waies unto true happines. 

Indeed God fuffcrsfometimes men that will 

have their owne wayes, to ccme quickly to 

them, asfome menhaden to be rich, and God 

fuffers them to be rich haftily : yet they are 

none of Gods wayes which they take, but 

climbc up by fraud and deceit. I but that is 



The Returning Bickjlicter. 

SB*. XV. 

only a particular end, which God fuffercth them 
to attaine by bie way es : but what will be the up. 
fhot * Where will all thefe wayes end at length? 
furcly in Hell. For when a man goes out of the 
right,aad ftreight,and dired way, to be great in 
the world, he is like a man who goes out of his 
way,which is further abou", who yet when he is 
in that way goes on through thicke and thinne, 
becaufe he will gaiae fome way. Hce goes on 
through thickets and hedges, fairc and foule, 
where hce gets many fcratches, brufhes and 
knocks. I>j any think in the world to artainc his 
particular ends, without the direft waves of 
God, God may fuffcr him to atraine his parti 
cular end, but wkh many flawes, knocks and 
brufhes upon his Cvonfcience, which many times 
hecarrieth with him unto his grave, and findcs 
it a great deale better, both to attaine unto his 
particular ends by Gods wayes, and to have no 
more of any thing in the world then he can have 
with a good confcience. For though they be 
good men, ofc-timcs Godfuffers fuch men to 
have bruifes in their confcience all their dayes ; 
that they and others may know, that the beft 
way, is the ftreight and right way, which at laft 
will bring us beft to our end. 

Having thus made it good, That the wayes of 
the Lord are right ; now for conclufion of all,the 
Prophet begins to (hew the divers effeds thefe 
right rvayes of God have in two forrsof people, 
e t gW/) an dm eked. 

i . Thtt the jnftfiall tvalke i them : 

2 . 

The Returning Back/!ider+ 

2 . That the tranfgrejjcrs fhall f alii herein. 

1 be juftfhtll rvaike in them $ who be the iuft 

i r ~ i rr <? i n 

men here Ipokcn oft? buch are juit men who! 
give to every one their due, that gives God 
his due in the firft place, and man in the fecond 
place, whereby it is framed. Tkejuft flail nralkcl 
in them that is, they fhall proceed and goe 
on in them till they become to the end of their 
race, the Salvation ofchcir foulcs. And more 

Juft mcn,firft are fuch>who have a rcfpedt un 
to all Godscommandemcnts.P/li 19. ^.Though 
in their difpofition they find fome more hard to 
them then others, yet they doe not allow them- 
fclvcs to breake any , but ft rive To much the more 
carncftly and conftantly to obfcrvethem 5 as they 
findtheir natures oppoiue to them. Now Hy- 
! pocrites howfoever they doe many things in 
fliew,yetHke Herod md Itta as, their hearts run in 
| a wrong channel!, they allow themfelvesto live 
j in,and like of fome finne. The young man in the 
Gofpcll, had not a re.fpeA unto all Gods Com- 
mandements, though Cirift loved his aimiable 
parts; tothis purpofe Iiimts faith, Whomever 
frail kcepe the whole. Law, and yet cffittd in one 
print, bee is guilty of M. Thac is, he who al- 
lowcth himfclfc in any .one finne, he is guilty 
ofall. Aske/W*f, is murder good ^ he would 
have faid no : but hec was covetous and al 
lowed himfclfc in it, and fo drew upon him 
the guilt of all the reft. God is hee who forbids 
finning r.gninft them all : hec who forbids one, 






Mat. 1 9, 

Iim.a io, 


Sm. XV. 


They doe things 

The Returning Backflider. 


. 11 

forbids all: and being rightly turned to God>thc 
fame authority makes us leave all: it is not fin,but 
the allowance of it that makes an Hypocrite. 

Againe, they doe things to a good end, the 
glory of God, and the good of man. For want 
hereof, the almes, prayers and fading of the 
Scribes H\&?hAri fees (becaufethey did nothin 
out of love to God or man, bur. for vaine glory 
andcarnall refpedb) are condemned ofChrift. 
So fome are brought in at thelaft day faying, 
LordtLord, have we not in thy namefrophccied, and 
in thy nawt caft out Divels, andin thy name donz_j 
many woaderfutl w&kt:And yet Chrift profefTeth 
not toknowtheni^bot calleth them workers of 
iniquity. They had Gifts and Calling and deli 
vered true do<ftrine>d^. But here was their fai 
ling, They prophesied in his Name^ but not for his 
Name. Their a&ions were good in themfelvcs, 
and for others, bur the end of them was naught, 
and therefore both they and their workesarc 
condemned. Yet this is not fo to be undcrftood, 
but that Gods children have fomc thoughts of 
vaine glory which accoropanieth and creeperh 
into their beft aftions, but they doe acknow 
ledge this fora fin,confc(ft ir,and defire the Lord 
to pardon and fubducif, and then k fliall never 
belaid to their charge. Bccaufe having of in- 
jfirmities is not contrary to finceri y>but allowing 
[of them, and living in them, in which cafe the 
| Lord is more pleafed with our humiliation for 
iour finne, then the motions to vaine-glory did 
I offend him 


The Returning Back/!ider % 

Thirdly, adcfirc to grow in grace and to be 
come better and better is a fignc of uprightnefTc: 
Chriftian Right eoufneffe,as it fees (till need,fo it 
ftilldcfircs more grace and leffe fin, becaufcbe 
who hath a true heart, feeth both the want and 
worth of grace, & feckth his want. A manfeclcs 
not the want of Faith, Humility and Love, till 
he have it in fome fort, as if is faid ^fo/.j.i 5 . As 
many as wt perfect Art thus minded, to wit, fo 
many as are upright^ 1 1 is one. 

Laftly, this juft uprightnetfe is knowne by 
love of the Brethren^ ttit we know we are tranf- 
Utcdf om death to life, becaufe we love the br ether en. 
Contrary to which is that difpofition which en- 
vieth at all things which fuites not with tru ir hu 
mours, zslAmcs fpeaketh of thofc who prefernr 
men, and have their perfons in admiration in re 
gard of outward things defpifinginferiours. 

If therefore we will ever be counted righteous 
perfons, let us keepe thcfc rules fet downe here, 
have a refpcd: to all Gods Oommandemcnts, 
do all things tothe glory of God, dcfire to grow 
in grace,and love the brethren. 

And fo it is alfo for Confolation unfo fuch 
who arc thus qualified: for unto them bclongeth 
all the promifes of this life and of that to come, 
I they are in a blcfTcd cftate/or all things arc theirs, 
bcc^ufe they are Chrifts, therefore ir is their 
boundcn duty hnving an upright heart to re Joyce 
in God,as the Prophet fpeakes : Rejtue in the 
Lord ye righteous ->for fraife u comely for the upright. 
None have caufe to rejoyce bur upright men. 



<A ekfne to 
grow tngr*i.t. 

Iy hie of tie 


rfe i 

i 5.1. 


The Returning Backjltder. 

SB*. XV, 



i. Bccaufe they of all others have tit]e and right 
to joy: 2.Becaufe they have command to doe it, 
feeing Heaven is theirs, all the promifes are 
theirs a and they are heires of all things: it is a 
comely fervice and the work of Heaven. 

Agatnft this fome ob je<5t. O but I find many 
fianes, paffions and infirmities in my felfe, how 
then can I joy in Go4 

To this we anfwer briefly, that the paffions 
and infirmities of Gods fervants^are not contrary 
toChriftian uprightncs and righteoufiicflfc : for 
Saint lAmes faith, that Ellas was A wanfabject to 
like fastens and in frmitics as we are, yet he was a 
righteous man, though a man fub je<ft to the like 
paffions as we arc. Therefore the paflions o f 
Chriftians are not contrary to Chriftian, butto 
legall righteoufnes. But we are notiwdertbeLaw 
but mder Grace. The firft Covenant of works 
bids us have no fin. The other Covenant bids us 
allow no fin,this much is for that QjefHon,what 
is meant by juft mtn. It remaines now that we 
fhould further enquire into that myfterie, how it 
is that jufl men walke in the wayes of God, and prof- 
per therein: when yet wicked men called tranf- 
greflbrs fall therein. Butthisbeingamiftery,by 
your patience we will take time to unfold what 
we have to fpeake hereof the next time if God 
be fo plea fed. 

The end of the fifteenth Sermon. 





Hos, 14.10, 

The vayes of the Lord are right , tlxjuft 
jbatt walke m them 5 but the tranfgreffbrs 
U fall therein. 

O D S Children have their 
times of deadnefle and de- 

, fertion, and againe their 
times of quickning and re- 
joycing: weeping doth not 
alwayes rcmaine untothem 
for theii portion, 

rmthin the morning : in the vyorft times the Saints 
have alwayes fome comforts afforded them 
which fupporteththem agamft all thcftormes 
and temperas they indure : they have alwayes a 
Go (be* to fly too, others fliall perifh in that way 
wherein they (hill walke and efcape. 

7 he jttft fall walke in them, but the trwfgrejfirs 

fall fall therein. 


SiR.XVI. . 



The Returning Back/lider. 

Thusfarrc wearcnowcomein the unfolding 
of this Chapter, having (hewed Gods rich and 
incomparable mercies to miferableand penitent 
finncrs, how ready God is to embrace fuch, as 
this rebellious people named were, with all 
the arguments ufed to make them returnc unto 
the Lord: we are now come at laft unto the up- 
fhatofall, adifcovery of the fevef all effeft and 
work Gods word hath upon both forts of people 
here named and aymed at. 

The ](t /ball walke in them, but the tranfgre/ors 
flail fall therein. 

Thefe were very bad times : yet there were 
juftmen, who walked in the wayes of God, fo 
that we fee. 

In the worft times God will hdveal wayes a people 
that/hall ]tijlifewifidome^>. 

God will have it thus,even in the worft times, 
*H walkeinthem : though before he 
u wife and who uprude%t? yet here he 
(hewes that there fhall be a number who fhall 
walk in Gods wayes. Who though they go to Hea- j 
vcn alone, yet to Heaven they will though they | 
have but a few that walk in Gods wayes with 
them, they will rather goe with a few that way, 
then with the wicked in the broad way to Hell : 
alsvay God hath fome who fhall walk in his way: 
for if there were not fome alway who were good, 
the Earth would not ftand 5 for good men they are 
the Pillars of the world who uphold it. It is not 
for wicked inens fake that God upholds the 
frame of the creatures, and that orderly govern. 


The Returning 

incnt,wciccail is to gather together thenumber 
of: his ele<5r,of whom in Tome ages ther are more 
and in fome lefle ofthem bornc,theraf\cr asGod 
breaths and blows with his Spirit. For according 
to the aboundant working of the Spirit, is the 
number of the cleft. Yet in all ages there arc 
fome,becaufe it is an Article of our Faith, to be 
lieve a My Cat boli he Church. Now it cannot be 
an article of Faith unles there were alway fome 
that made this Catholike Church : for els there 
fliould bean aft of faith without an obje&.Ther- 
fore we may alwayes lay j I believe that there 
arc a number of ele& people that walke in the 
wayes of God to Heaven-wards. 

And whatis the difpofition of thefe fome? 
to have a counterrnotion to thofe of the times 
and places they live in. Some arc foolifh, not 
caring for the way rs of God, cavilling at them. 
But ihtjttftfia// walke in thfm\ that is, they take 
a contrary courfc to the world that Heights wif 
dome. Thus in all times it is the difpofition of 
Gods children to goe contrary to the world in 
the greatcft matters of all. They indeed hold 
corrcfpondcncy in outward things, but for the 
maine, they have a contrary motion. As we 
fay of the Planers, that they have a motion con 
trary to the wrapt motion, being carried and 
hurried about every twenty foure houres with 
the motion of the Heavens: they have mother 
motion and citcuit of their owne which they 
pafTcalfo. So his with Gods people, though 
in their common carriage they be carried wrh 

F f the 

The drffofitit* 
of ]u we/i in 



Gen. 1 8 

Phil. 2, 2 


The Returning 

the common cuftomes and fafhions ofthe times; 
yet they have a contrary motion of their owne, 
wherby being carried by the help of Gods Spi. 
rittheygoeonin a way to Heaven though the 
world difeerne it not, they have a fecret contra. 
ry motion oppofite to the fins and corruptions of 
~ e age and times they live in.Thcifore in all a - 
ges it is obferved for a commendation to goe on 
in a contrary courfe to the prefent time$.2v&f& in 
his time^^ in histime,and Paul In his time, who 
com plains^// menfeeke their owne : It is a ftrangc 
thing that Paul ihould complain of all mwfeekivg 
their owne^ even then when the blood of Chriit 
was fo warme, being fo lately fhrd, and the 
Gofpell fo fpread : yet aUmenfeeke their ownc. 
And he fpeakes it with teares, but what became 
of Poland Timothy and the reft ? But our eon- 
werfation is in Heaven from whence we leoke for 
ttse Saviour , the Lord lefas Chnft,&c. Let all 
menfeeke their owne here below as they will, 
we have our converfation contrary tothe world. 
Ourconverfation is in Hew en > &c. So that they 
hold out Gods Truth in the mid ft of a croakec 
and perverfe generation, that is whn every 
man takes crooked wayes and courfes in car- 
nail policy, yet there area company that not- 
withftanding, walk in the right wayes of Goc 
cleane contrary to others. The juft will- walk 
in the right wayes of God. As holy foflw-a f aid 
Choofe you what y@ii will dve, but howfotver I and 
my fathers houfe will ferve the Lord. So when 
fell from Chrift fora fit, becatifehis 



The Returning Backflider. 


Dodrinc fccmcd harfli, /V/?r juftificd that way, 
when Chrift asked him, will yeealfo leave me 
with the reft who are offendedc lW (faith he) 
wkttkrJk*Hweg*e? wehavetaftedthe fweetnes 
oUheword,and felt the power therof: whether 
flail rve go Lordjhon haft the words of eternall life. 
So Gods people have an affcdion, carnage and 
courfe contrary tothc world. 

T he Reafon is taken from their owndifpofiti- 



on D they are partaker of the divine nature, which I * A J . 
carrieth them up toGod-wards againfl the ftream I 
and current of the time. 

TheUfe hereof (hall be onely a Tryall of 
our fclvesin evill times, whether or not then 
we juftifie Gods wayes and the beft things.If we 
doitisafigneweareof the number of Gods e- 
left: to defend and mainrainc good caufcs and 
right opinions,efpecially in divine truths,which 
is the beft charafter of aChriftianrothers in their 
own fpheare have their degree of goodncfTe,but 
wcfpeakeof fupernaturall divine goodnefle, a 
man may know he belongs to God,if hee juftifie 
wifdome in the worft times: if he fland for the 
truth to the urmoft,thinking it of more pricethen 
his life. Ir is the firft degree to Religion, to kate^ 
father and mother, wife andchtldren } andall for the Luk, 1 4.16. 
Gofpell. Now when a man will juftifie 
the Truth with the loflfe of any thing in the 
world, i: is a fignethat man is a good man in ill 

Thetfcre in ill times let us labour to juftifie 
trutfti, both the truth of things to be beleeved, 

F f 2 and 

The Returning Backflitter. 

Si>XVJ! and all juft religious courfes, not only in caic o 
""* oppofition being oppoftd, but in example 

Hcb.ii. 7 , though we fay nothing. Noah condemned the 

world> though he fpake not a werdjby making 

mdrtxfaL#,$ttlmtKi though he told not al, 

Sodom of their faults. So a man may juftifie goo 

things though he fpeak not a word to any man : 

for f uch a ones life is a confutation and {efficient 

witnefiTe for God againft thr world. Therfbre it 

is Roodjt hough a man do nor confront the world 

inhisfpeeches: yet nocwuhftandiog atleaftto 

hold a courfe contrary to the world in his con- 

verfa ion* we have need of a great deal of courage 

to do thisrbut there is no heavenly wifeman, but 

he is a couragious man^though in his owne fpi. 

rit^hemaybeaweakeman, yet in cafe of oppo- 

firion, Grace will be above Nature, hee will 

fhcw then his heavenly Wifcdome and Pru 

dence and of what mettall he is made by jufhfy- 

ingwifdomeinall times: The juft fiatt walkz_j 

therein. But to come more dirtft.y to the 


The Iitft fia/l walke in them. 
A juft and righteous man that is made juft by 
them (hall walk in them. Hence we may obfcrve, 

before they can walke, Walking is an adion of life, 
hercmuftbelifc before there can be walking; 
amanmuft fiifi havea fpiriruall life, whereby 
he may be juft, and then hee will walke as a 
juft man. For, as wee lay of a Bowie (it is 
s comparifon) it is firft made round and 


The Returning Btukfltden 


then it runs round,foa man is firft juft and then ; ^^XVI is a conceit or the Papifts that 

good works do jiutifica man: Luther [ dyes weli, 

that A goodnun doth good works. Good workes 

make not the man, fruit makes not he tree, but 

the tree the fruir. So we arc juft firftj and then we 

walk as juft men. We muft labour to be changed 

and to have a principle of fpirkuJill life, then we 

fhall walk and have ncwfcc^eyes^tafl^arcs^and 

fcnfes: all (hall then be new. 

Againe,in the fee^n J place, the neccfli y of it 
appearcs hence that there iv.wft be firft Ipirituall 
life in the inward manure a man can walke. Be- 
cai fe there will nr t els be a harmony and corr> 
fpondency betwixt a man and his wayes. A man 
will not hold r thofe way cs that he hath an An 
tipathy too : therefore his rmurc muft be altered 
by n higher principle, before he can hkeand de 
light in the waves of God. This is that which 
Gods children defire fiift of God^that he would 
alter their nr.tures,inlighten,cliange and quicken 
them,\vorkci>rongly and powerfu ly in them, 
thatthey may havea Sympathy and liking unto 
all that is good,, firft they are juft and then they 
wall e in Gods wayes. 

Tbcluft fid I walkein them. 

In the next place, we may obferve hence, 
Thatd luff man be Being the prudent and wife man 
he walks in Goetivr^es. That is fpirituall wife 
jdomc and prudence, together with Grace, 
Righteovifneife and lufticc, they leade to wal 
king in Obedience. Let no man therefore talk 
1 Ff? _o 



Pro. 1 4. 8. 

Mat 7* 

The Returning Backflider. 

of grace and wifdomc or prudence altering him, 
further then he makes it good by his walking. 
He that is juft walks as a juft man ; he that is wife 
walks wifely , he that is prudent, walks prudent 
ly. Which is fpokcnto difcover Hypocrifiein 
men, that would be thought to be good ChrifU- 
ans and wifemen,becaufc they have a great deale 
offpecuiativc knowledge.I but lookeweroour 
waies,let them (how whether wee be wife or 
foolifhjuft or unjuft://^ man be wife,he Is wife for 
himfelffa Salomon faith)ro dired his own waies. 
The wi(dome of the wife is to underftwd his ewnt^> 
vpdy that he i* to ivalke /#.If a man have not wife, 
dome to dired his way in particular to walke to 
heaven- ward,he is but a foole.For a man to know 
fo much as fliaH condemn him and be a witnefTc 
againft hira aod( yet not know fo much as to lave 
him^what mifcrable thing is this t Now all o- 
thcr men that know much and walk not anfwe- 
rable, they know fo much as to condemhe 
them and not to fave them. Our Saviour Chrift he 
calleth fuch>yW/ft#/7<j/w, that know and will 
notdo:founlefletherebca walking anfwerable 
to the Wifdomt and Pmfancc prcfcribed, a man is 

Therefore let it be a rule of tryall, would we 
be thought to be wife <wdprudtntjft and good ? 
Let us looke po our wayes, are they Gods 
wayes? doe we delight in chefevvayesc and 
make them our waies, then we arc nv/? 3 prudent 
and jttjt. 

The lust flaB walke in them. 

The Returning Backflidcr. 

fis the lujl fluff rvMlke in them $ fo whofocvcr 
walks in thcm,mjft>i*ife*xdpruJct:fot is not 
he prudent who walks in thofc waics that Icadc 
direcftly to cternall happincflc t is not he a wife- 
man that walks by rule in thofc way cs where he 
hath God over him to bee his Rrote&or, Ruler, 
and Defender? is not he a wife man who walks 
inthofewayes that fits him for all conditions 
foralleftates? he that walks thcrfore in Godi 
waies muftbethconly wi(e man. 

Nowvvhat things doth this walking IB the 
wayes of God imply? 

Fir ft, Pcrfpicuity.thofe who walk in the waies 
of God, they difccrne thofc waies to bee Gods 
vvaycs 5 nnd difcerne them aright. 

Then when they difcerne them to be Gods 
good waies, anfwerably they proceed in them 
from ftcp to (tcp,for every adion is a ftep to hea- 
vcnortohell.-foajuftminwhcnhe hath difco- 
vercd a good way, he goes on ftill. 

And then he keeps an uniform courfc, for fo 
he do h who walks on in a way ,hc makes not in 
dentures as he vvalks,but goes on fteady ia an u- 
niform cour(e,ro a right cnd.So a juft man when 
he hath fingled our the right way.hc goes on in 
th.u fleedily and uniformly. 

And likewife where it is faid the juftvvaUccs 
inthem,itimpliesRefoiunontogoon in thofc 
waies rill he come to the end,thougH there bee 
never fo much oppofinon. 

But how (hall we know whither we go on 
in this way or not? F f 4 Firft 

San. XVI. 

in Gods wa*t 



Per/picuity tt 


To proctedin 




The Returning Backflider< 

Firft,he that goes on in a way the further hee 
hath proceeded therein, looking backe, tha 
which he leaves behind feeracslerfcr and IcflTer 
in his eye, and that which he goes too greater 
and greater: fo a man may know his progreflc 
in the wayesof God , when earthly profits am 
pleafurei feemc little, his former courfes a 
pleafures fceming now bafe unto him, when 
Heaven and heavenly things frenic neere unto 
him, itisafignehc is Peere Heaven: ncere in 
time,, and neerer in difpofition and in wife Jome 
todifcerne, becaufc the beft things are grcateft 
mh ! seyeandefteem.!nthiscafe, itisafignethat 
fuch aone is remooved from the world, and is 
necre unto heaven,having madeagood progrcffe 
in the wayesof God. 

It implyes likewife in the fecond place, an 
uniforme courfe of life. Such a oee dorh not 
duties by ftarts now and then, but conftantly, 
therefore wcmuft judge of men by a tenure of 
life,what their conftant wayes are : fometiraes 
though they be good men, they may ftep awry 
into an ill way, and yet come in againe. Some 
times an ill mm may erode a good way, as a 
theife when hee croifeth the high-way,, or a 
good manftepsoutof the way, but this is not 
their way >thcy are both out and to feeke of their 
way. A wicked man when hee fpeakes of 
good things he is out of his way 5 he <5h a part 
and affumes a pcrfbn he is unskilful! to sihther- 
fore he doth it untowardly. But a mans way is 
his courfe,a good mans way is good though his 

The Rctuwini Backe/IMtr. 

ftartingsbcill, and in ill mans way is naught, 
though for paflion or for bie ends, he may now 
and then do good things. Therfore considering 
that the walking in the waycs of God is uniform 
and orderly : let us judge of our felves by the te 
nure of our life,and conrfe thereof. And let thofc 
poorc foules who thinkc they arc out of the way, 
becaufe they run into fomc infirmities now and 
thcD,comfort thcmfclves in this,that God judg- 
eth notby finl?adions,but according to the te- 
nureof a mans life f what he is. For often-times 
Godschildrcngainc by their flips,which makes 
them lookc the more warily to their waycs for 
cverafterthat. He that walkes in the way to 
Heaver*, if be be a good man, hcc lookesto 
make furcr footing in the waycs of God after 
his flips and fals. He labours alfo to make fo 
much the more haflc home being a gainer by all 
hi flips and .fals. Let none therfore be dif- 
couragcd, butlctthcm labour that their waycs 
and courfcs may be good, and not only fo, but 
tobeuniformCjOrderly and conftant, and then 
they may fpeake peace to their owne foules, be 
ing fuch as arc here defcribcd, Jht luft (hall walk 
in them. 

Againc, he that will walke aright in Gods 
waycs, he mud be rcfolute againft all oppo 
fi-Jon whatfocvcr: for wcc meete with many 
lets,hinderanccs and fcandals> to ririve us out 
of the way. Sometimes the ill lives of thofr 
who walke in thefe way es,fometitres their flipt; 
and fals>fometimcs per(ecution 3 and our ownc 




The Returning 

naturesare fulof fcandals,fubje<a to take this anf 
that offence,and then we arc ready to be fnared 
on the right hand,or feared and feared on the left; 
And our nature fofarre as it is unfanftificd, is 
prone to catch 5 and ready to joy n with the world: 
therefore wee have need of rcfolution of fpi- 
rit and determination : As David, I have de 
termined, O Lord: and I ml keepe] thy laws, 
I have faorne that I mil keepe thy righteew 
judgements : this is a refolutc determination. 

And then againe, pray to God with David 
that he would dired our vvaies. oh that my 
wayes were ft diretftd t* keepe thy Lawes ! J fee 
that my nature is ready to draw me away to 
cvill, and perverfe crooked courfts : I fee 
though I determine to take a good courfe thac 
there is much oppofition:therforegoodLord di- 
re<ft me in my courfe, direct thou my thoughts } 
words and carriage. Therefore that we may 
yvalke ftedfaftly, letusrefolvewith fetlcd de 
termination, praying to God for ftrength: o- 
therwife refolution with deptndance on our 
owne power may be a workeof the flefh: but 
refolve thus,thefc are right vvayes and ftreight, 
they leade to Heaven, Happinefle and Glory, 
therefore I will vvalke in them, vvhatfcever 
come of it. We have all the difcouragements 
which may hinder us in the vvayes of God, 
For as we are travellers, fo wee arc fouldier$ 5 
vvaiforing men that meete with many rubbs, 
thornes, therefore to walkaraidftfuchdange. 
rous vvaies wee muft be well fhjd with the 

The Returning Backjlider. 

preparation of the Gofpell of peace, that is 
Patience, and reafonstaken from thence. God 
hath provided fpirituall armour in the Word a- 
gainft all oppofitions that meet with us : fo that 
by Refolution and Prayer to him, ufing his 
meanes we tnay go through all. 

Now for a further helpe for us to walke con- 
ftantly and refolutely in the vvayes of God. 

Take firit the helpc of good company, if we 
fee any man to walke in a good way, let him 
not walke alone, but let us joyne our fclves 
with thofe that walke in Gods waies,for why 
doth God leave us not oncly his Word to di- 
rc<5> us which way togoc, but likewife exam 
ples in all times,butthat we (hould follow thofe 
examples ? Which are like the Pillar of firz_j 
which went before ifrael unto Canaan. We 
havca Cloudeand a Pillar of examples before 
us (unto which hee alludes, Heir. 12.1.) to 
leadc us unto Heaven, not onely the Word, 
but examples in all times. Walke as you twvc^ 
u* for an cxAWflc (faith PAH!) therefore it is a 
chara&er of a gracious difpcfirion to joyne 
\\ i r h the juft,and thofe who walke in the waies 
of God. We fee there is in all the creatures 
an inflind to ketpe company vvirh their ovvne 
:inde: Asvvtefee in Dovcs 5 vSheep,Gecfeund 
he like. So it comes from a fupernaturull graci 
ous inftir ft of gVacc, for thegoodto walkeand 
company withthegooJ,helping them on in the 
way toHcavcn.Itistherforea point of fpcciall 
vvifdomr to finglc out thofe for our company 






The Returning Backjlidcr. 

He br, 1 1* 1 6. 

^Yl whoarcablctohclpuschitherraskis for travel 
lers to chooie their company to travell with. 

Again, if we would walke aright in the wayes 
ofGodjletushaveourendinour eye, likcunro 
the travcllerrlook on Heaven, the day of judgc- 
ment,thofc times either of etcrnall happincflc or 
mifery which we niuft all come too.The having 
ofthefeinour eye will fternethe whole cour/e 
of our life, for the end mfufeth vigor in our car- 
riages,andputsagreaidealcoflifein the ufe of 
the means, breeding a love f them , though 
they be harftuTherfore we muft pray aod labour 
for Patience to conflict with our ownc corrupti 
ons and thofe of the times we live in. This is 
unpleafantto cfoe,but when a man hath his aimc 
andeftdinhiseyethisinfpircs fuch vigour and 
ftrengthinaraan,thatit makes him ufe meanes 
andcourfescontrary to his owne natural! difpo- 
fition^ofFering a holy violence unto himfclfc: as 
thus, it is not abfolutely neccfifery that I fhould 
have this or that,or have them all, or in fnch and 
fuch a meafurc,butit is abfolutely necciTary that 
Ifliouldbe faved and not damned: therefore 
this courfej will rake, in thefc wayes I willand 
muft walke, which leade to Salvation. Let us 
therefore with <JM0fes haveinour 
ftflCCoftbercwArd&n&vj Hli our bleffcd 
the head ofthe faithfull,h ve before 
joy that wa$ /tt before him, whfch will make us 
pafTebyall thofe heavy things that hee paflcd 
through. Let us with the holy men of 
ancient time have the f rice tfthat high c A 


The Retutning 

in our eye>tc make us.notwithftanding all oppo- 
fition.prcflc forwards towards the maikc 

And then againc,btcaufe it is (aid indefinitely 
here: 7 hey fiaUnalkeiwthefewaycs : remember 
alwayrs to take Wifdomeand Prudence along 
with you in all your walkings. It is put indcfinit- 
ly,becaufe we fhould leave out none. For as we 
fay in things that are to be belecved, Faith choo- 
} feth not this objtd,and not another, fo Obcdi- 
encechoofeth not this objeft, I will obey God 
I in this and rtot in this, but it goes on in all Gods 
j wayes.Therfore if we would walke on aright in 
| Godswayes,therc muftbeconfideration of all 
the relations as we ftand to God : Firft,what du 
ties we owe to God in heavenly things,to pleafe 
him abovrall, whomfoeverwcdifpleafennd to 
feeke the Kingdomeof Heaven and his Righte- 
oufncfle before all, that all things may follow 
which are necdfull for us. 

So in the next place, when we looke to our 
felves, to know thofe way cs which are required 
of us in regard of our lei ves : for every Chri ftian 
| is a Temple whc rin God dwels, therfore we are 
to cany our felves holily,to be much in Piayer> 
and communion with God in fccret - y A man is 
beftdiftinguifhedtobeagood walker by thofe 
fccret waves betwixt God and his foule; thofe 
walks ofMeditation and Prayer, wherein there 
is much fweetintercourfe betwixt God ardtht 
foulr. The: fore in this cafe a manm?kes confci 
ence of his communions ithGod in his ? hoi gh s,j 
defiresaflfcdions,ufi-g all good rr.cancsnppoin- 










The Returning 

ted of God to mamccamc this Communion. 

Then we fliould looke to our own carriage in 
the ufe of the creatures : to carry our felves in all 
things indifferently, becaufe Wiftom undPrudence 
is fecnin thofe things efpecially, to ufe things in- 
different,indifferently, not to be much in the ufe 
of the world,in joy or forrowibot in moderation 
to ufe thefe things,being fure to fet ouraf&ftions 
upon the maine. 

And fo in things indifferent, not to doe them 
with offence and excefl e, but to fee and obferve 
the rule in all things of indiffcrency. 

And for our carriage to others in thofc wayes, 
let us co nfider, what we owe to t hofe above us, 
what refpedis due toGovernours,and what to 
others,what to thofe who are without, what to 
thofe who are weak,we owe an exam pic of holy 
life unto thera,that we give no occafion of fcan- 
dalhand alfo to walke wifely towards them that 
are without, that wee give no occafion for the \ 
wayes of God to be ill fpoken off. 

And for all conditions which God fhall caft us 
into, remember that thofe be wayes which wee , 
fhould walk feemly in. If profpcrity, let us take 
heed of the fins of profperityjpride^nfolency/e ! 
curity,hardnes of heart and the like.Ifadverfity, j 
then let us pra&ife the graces therof ,take heed of | 
murmuring and repining,deje<3ionoffpirit, dif-j 
paire and the like. This is to walk like a wife man 
in all!conditions,in thofe relations he ftands in. 

For our words likewife and expreflions to o- 
thers in that kind of our wslking,* fi thatthey may 


The Returning Back/lickr. 

be favoury and to purpofc, that we labour to 
fpeak by rule,feeing we muft give an account of 
every idle word at the day of judgement.So that 
! in all our labours, carriage and fpecch we muft 
labour to doe ail wifely and juft! y.Thefe are the 
way cs of God^and thejttft rvalke in them. 

Negatively what we muft avoidm all our walking. 

Remember in general!, we muft never doc 
any thing againft Religion, againft t onfcience, 
againft a mans particular Place and Calling, or 
againft juftice. Let us not touch upon the 
breach of any good thing, cfpecially of Religi 
on and Confcience.Thus a manfhall walk in the 
wayes of God, if with Wifdemt and Prudence he 
confider what wayes are before him,to God, to 
himfclfejto others : in all condittonsand ftates of 
life, to fee what he muft,and what he muft not do 
and then to walk in them anfwerably. 

For our incouragement to walk in Gods waycs 
in our gcnerall and particular callings. 

Know fivft they arc the moft fafe wayes of all, 
whatfoever trouble or affliction wemeetwithall, 
it is no matter^it will prove the fafeft way in the 
end. For as it was withthe cloud which went be 
fore Gods people,it was both for D r.<5t:on and 
Protedion : fo the Spirit of God, and the wayes 
of God as they ferve for D re&ion, fo they ferve 
forPrort&ion, God will dircd and protcdus 
if we walke in his wayes : let him be our Dire d- 
or,and he will 1>: our preferver and protedor in 
all times. 

Againc, they are the moft pleafant wayes of 






Wee mu/l no 
do any thing 
</// religion 
tonfcience or 





The Returning Backjlider. 

a ^* allwifedomeswnyes arc paved with Prof- 

perity and Pleafure, for when God doth 
enlarge and fanfiifie the foule to walke in 
them, he giveth withall a royall gifs inward 
peace of confcience and joy unfpeakablc and 
glorious with an inlarged Spirit. God meets 
his children in his owne wayes,they are there 
fore to walke there.Lct a man ftart our of Gods 
wayes, hee meets with the D veil, with the 
Divels inftruments, and many fnares. Bu m 
Godswayes, hee fliall be fure to m etc with 
God, if he walke in them with humility and 
refpeft to God, looking up for diredion and 
ftrength, and denying his own wifdomc : in this 
cafe a man fhall bee lure to have God goealong 
with him in all his way es .In Gods waycs exptcS 
Gods company :therfore they are the fafeft and 
the moft pleafant wayes. 

And they arethe cleaned and holyeft wayes 
of all : having this excellent property in them, 
that as they Icade to comfort 3 lo they end in 
comfort, they all end in Heaven. Therefore 
let us not be weary of Gods wayes, of Chri- 
fttanity and our particular Callings: wherein 
what we doe let us doe as Gods wayes, having 
fnnftified chem by Prayer, anddoeitin obedi 
ence to God. They are Gods waycs when 
they are fan& fied; God hsth fct me in this 
ftanding, ] expc d his blefling therein,and what 
blefling I find, I will give him the praife : God 
havh appointed that in ferving man I fr rve him : 
therefore wee muft goe on in our particular 

ways , 


They are the 
mod aleave a 

The Returning Backflider. 

wayes,asthcwayesofGod, doing every thing 
as the work of God, and we (hall find them the 
comfortableftand pleafantcft wayes which end 
in joy^appineflfe and glory. 

The ule hereof may be firft Reprehcnfion un 
to thofe \vho can talke but not walke, that have 
tongues but not fcer,to wit nffcdlions, that come 
by ftartsintothe narrow way : but yet be never 
well till they turn back again into the world, that 
broad way which leads unto deftrudion. 

Sccondly,it isforlnftruftion^toftirreusup to 
walke in Gods wayesras rfalmc i. Blcjjedis th^> 
man that walketb not in tie conn f- II of the ungodly, 
&c.Butbis Might i< in the LAW oftht Lord) andw 
that Law doth be meditate day and night. 

Thirdly, this is for Confolation, if this be 
our walke, then God will walk with us and the 
Angelsof God (hall have charge of us to keepe 
usinallourvvayes: and though likeDdtvVwc 
flip out of the vvay 5 yet this not beingour walk 
we come to the wsy againe. Though Gods 
children miflfe of their way,yet their rcfolution, 
choice and indeavour, was to walke in the way, 
therefore Tuch are ftill in a bltfled eftate, and 
kecpe their communion with God. A man is 
not faid to alter his way, till he alter his choycc 
and refolution.Thebeft man may have an ill paf- 
lon and miffe the way, but he will not turn from 
t willingly. And the worft man may have a good 
)aflion,and come into the vv.iy,but never conti- 
iue in it,to make his walk. From all which it ap- 
pcareth,thatthey areonely lighteous pcrfons, 

G g who 


Exod. 14*10. 


The Returning Back/lider. 

who continue to walk in the way cs of God. It is 
therforc Confolation unto them vyho take that 
courfe,thcugh all the world go another way, 
yet they muft imitate juft men. And for-us we 
muft imitate thefe juft men, though they be ne* 
ver fo few in the world and defpifcd.If we would 
be counted the fei vants of God, we muft imitate 
them that walk in thofe paths. 

No wit is faid that the other fort, wicked men, 
the way es of God fhall have a quite contrary 
courfein them. 

tint the TrA#fgrej[ors ft all fall therein. 

As one and \ he Iclt- fame cloud was both light 
to the ifratlites and darkndlc untothcJEj^//^/; 
So the fame way es oi God prove both light and 
darknefTc,lifeand death to the godly and vvic- 
kedrasthe Apoftle fpeaks,unto the oyietbey arethc 
favour of life unto tife> and unto the other the favour 
of death unto ^^ f ^.Therfore now here is the con- 
clufion of all :if no warning will ferve the turne 
of all what hath bin given and faid: yet the word 
of God (hall not returne empty,it fha!I effect that 
for which it was fent : one work or other it will 
doe:evcnupon the moft perverfe, 

TheTranJgreJfirs frail fall therein. 

Whence we fee and may obfeive, That the^ 
fame wsrd which is a word of life andfalvation to 
the godly is an occapon offmne and perdition unto 
the iwV^^.Thefarne Sun which makes flowers 
and herbs to fmel fweef, makes carrions to fmel 
worfe. The fame word which made the A 
poftles bclcve and confeffc Chrift 3 did alfo 


The Returning Backjlider. 

make many others of his Dilciplcs goc bscke 
from him, faying: This is a hard faying who can 
beareit? Soo///.i3. The fame word which 
made the unbekeving lewcs blafphemr, did 
maty a* did belong unto tternall fife be- 
Itevc. And when Chrift preached, many blaf- 
phcmed^nd faid he had a Divell : others truftcd 
and defended him. So faith P^//, the fame word 
to fome is, the favour of death untodeath,andto 
feme the favour of life unto lift : and fo in another 
place he fpeakes ofthe fame word, but we preach 
Chrift crucified, unto the lews aflumbling blocks , 
And iwto the Greekes fiolijhncfie, but unto them 
which are called ho* blew and Greeks, Christ th^j 
powerofGot.andthewfdoineofGod. To thispur- 
ppfe Peter 1 peaks tfcbriftjtfitojotthcrfort who be- 
leevehe is pretiofM>buttMtothem which are dtfobedt- 
c.A Honeofftumbli^ardarocke oftffenc^ 
eve* ftntothew which flttmble at the word, bctngdtf. 
obtdient> whtreiwto al fit hey were appoint ed t The 

Rcafons are. 

Becaufe, The naturaUmanpcrceivethnotth^s 
things of the Spirit of God, for they AK fool iflwc fie un 
to himwitkcr can he know tbem.beca^e tkcj are fj>t- 
difcerncd-.butbethAt is fair Mall judgcth all 


. XVI 

loll. O.frO. 

^_ -tfetbej who doeri Ilk tie the light 

and therefore cannot love what they hate. T/^ 1 
(Chriit faith)** the condemnation jhat light i* come 
into the world, at>d men loved dirheffe beinr then 
light >bcc 011 fe their deeds nereevtll. 

Thirvlly^Becaufcthey are blinded, therefore 
G g 2 they 

i Cor.i 1 6, 

Reap*. I. 

i Cor 4.4. 



Tit i.i. 


ebr,4- 2. 

i Pet.2,8, 

The Returning Backflider. 

hey arc led away by the god of this world Sa- 
an/o that they cannot perceive any thing that is 
pirituall,for God hath not given them a heart to 
perceive, &c. 

Foufthly 5 becaufethey wantfaith 5 which iscal- 

ed the Faith of Gods elett ; and we know without 

Faith it is impefibletopleafe 6W:for it is faid thac 

he word prof ted not thofe unbelieving leivs^ bee MI ft 

t was not mingled with Faith in thofi who heard it. 

Fiftly, BecaufetheWordis like the Sunne 

which caufeth plants to fmell fwecc, and a dung 

hill to fmell ftinking.So it works grace infotne, 

andcxtra&sthe finnc and foule vapours out 01 


TheVfeis, Firft, Reproofe unto them who 
(tumble at the wholefome Dodrines of the 
word,ofEledion,Rcprobation, Prcdeftination 
and the like,fuch indeed ftumble at Chrift him 
Celfjhe is a ftumbling block unto them, as Pete 
fpeaketh. They ftumble at Chrift who fimnbl 
at his Word. 

Secondly, not to love the word the worfe,be 
caufe evill men be made the worfe by it, whic 
(hcwcs rather the mighty power of the Wore 
which difcovcrcth them, and will not let them 
be hid,uniTiaskiog Hypocricstothemfelvesanc 
others. AswemuftnotliketheSuntheworfe 
bccaufe it makes carrion fmell 5 nor the fan>bc 
caufeic winnoweth away the chaffe^fo muft vv 
not fall out with the Word,becaufe it hath the; 

h upon wicked men. 
Laftk , Ins for Confolatlon unto them th 

The Returning 


when their fin is reproved, fall not out with the! 5 * X v J 
Word,but with their fin. When they are excited 
to duty they hate their corruption and doc indca- 
vour towalke honeftly without rcproofc. This 
fhewes the word is not the favour of death unto 
death to them, but the favour of life unto life: 
which S.Paul makes a figne of cle&ion,Wtf* they 
receive the wcrAof God, at the word of God wth 
Thank (giving. This indeed is a matter of praife 
to give God thanks for his good word, which 
fsvcs our fouks,and comforts us here in the way 
of all otr Pilgrimage, till we arive at heavenly 

For Conclufion of all, what then remaineth 
on our part to be done? Surely to hearken no 
more to flefli and blood, to the world or the 
Divell : but to heare what God faith in his moft 
holy word, and to frame our hearts with a 
ftrongRefolutiontothis Returning here exhor 
ted to. O if we knew the many mifcries and for- 
rows which attendcth wretched and mifcrable 
finneis,andfinfullcourfes here and hereafter, it 
would be our firft work to follow Gods counfell 
to his people 5 to Returne frcra our finhill way es, 
to meet fo gratious and mercifull a God: rhar 
he may (as his promife is) heale our B4tkJKJMg*i 
and be ; /# the Dew unto ttsjo make us fruitrull and 
abundant in every good and pcrfeft woi k* 

What cnn be fuid more for our ircouragement 
then that which hath bin delivered in this Chap- 
ter.God the party offtndcd,who is] B H o v A H, 
God al-fufficient exhorts us to retutn unto him, 

G g 3. 

Pfal.ji, io. 

lam, 5,1 6. 

The Returning Backjlidcr* 


fl.t 5 i4. 1 
vlatii.i?. I 

who is able and wilHrg to help. And he alfo("out 
of his rich goddneffe) forewarneth usof the dan 
gerous cftatc a finner is in: who being fatten by hit- 
iniquity, ought therforero pitty himfelfe; Returve 
and not run on in a further courfe of difobedi- 
cncCjandbackfliding. And wcrisare put in our 
mouths,di<5iated by God himfelfe, which needs 
muft be very prevailing with him: what an in-j 
couragementisthis? yea further fas we havej 
heard) thefe petitions are all anfwcrcd gratioufly 
and abundantly above allrh^y did aske : wherin 
God furmounteth o.ur delires and thoughts, as 
we heard at large. Wherby we alfo may be con 
fident to have our petitions and fui tes in like 
fort granted, if we goe unto God with his owne 
words, and forme prefcribed. If we take with 
HS words of Prayer we (hall be fare to vanquish i 
all our fpirituall enemies: for faithfull Prayer 
workes wonders in Heaven and Earth. And 
that God doth not bid us be religious to our 
loflTeshefhewtthrhatwe fliall loofe nothing by 
following his counldl.and walking in a religions 
courfe of Tiferhaving abhoaiinatcd our Idols, fft 
til obferve us>Andfee /^,and be a fhelter unto us, 
having a derivation of fruitfulncs from his f ulnes: 
In me is thy fruit found. 

Laftly,we have heard who can make rihtufe 
of thefethings delivered f only the wife and fru- 
</<?/tf.-fuchonly can underftand heavenly things 
topurpofe: Hisfccretiswith themthatfcarehim: 
andi Wifedome is (oncly) jufttfedofher children. 
When others have no heart given them to per 

Tl)e Returning Backjlidcr. 

ccivc Gods waits aright (as <jW0fes fpeaketh) 

Tranfgnfors fall in Gods right wayes, whilft th 

juft walks comfonably in them. O then let us 

hate fin every Jay more and more,and be in k v 

with Religion and the waycsof God : for that s 

the true good,which is the cverlafting good,tha 

better Maries fart, which (hall never be taken c- 

way -Whofower drinks of this living tvattrfiaU ne 

ver thirft Againe. The beft things of this world, 

have but the fhadow,not the fubihnce of good- 

neffe. Letusthenbe wife for our felves, and 

pity our felves in time, wMJt it is cafledto day, 

bccaufe (as our Saviour fpeaks) The night ap- 

proacheth, wherin no man can worke. O then, let us 

often exarain our heartsandcovenancwith them, 

let us fee our fins as they are, and Gods good- 

neffeasitis; that our fcarlet fins may be done 

awayasa mift from before him. O bani(ha- 

way our Atbtifme, which by our finfull con- 

verfationproclaimethustobeofthe number of 

thofcfooles, who have faid in their heart, that 

thereisnoGod. Thisfeiious confideration, al- 

wayes makes firft aj?0/>,and then a Returning ; to 

belecve indeed i hat there is a God, who-madc 

che world.and a judgement tocome. This God 

farour latter end: O (faith he) that they 
rvift they wculdthink ofthefethin ?s of which 
things? the miferies which attend fin hccre and 
htre^f:er, andtheblei^ngsanJc imforts which 
follow a godly life both heerc and hereaf 
ter, That they r0ld rcmembtr their Utter er<d^ 
. . G g 4 _ the 



Ifa i, i. 


Lamciv 1.9. 


f ! 




I The Returning Backflicter. 

y the neglect wherof lercmy fhevveth was the caufe 
that they came down wonderfully and had no comfer 
ttr:becatt[e they remtmbred not their latter e#J. 

Therfore let us ftudy this point well; that there 
is a God and a judgement tocome,and this wil 
compell us even out of felf-Iovetoreturnc from 
ourfinfull courfcs, and makcaftop. By this 
means we (h all not need a Philips boy to cry to us 
every day>we are mortal 1 and muft die,if our me 
ditations once a day be bosh \nHeaven and Hell. 
Thefc ftrong confiderations (aided with ftrong 
rationall reflc&ingson our felves,) will keep us 
within compaffe, ovcraw lis and make us quake 
and tremble to go on in fin, which is worfc then 
theDivel in this,rhat therby he became a Dive). 
This will drive us to fly unto God> that he may 
keale our Back fit dings ,who is defcribcd mth hea 
ling under his nwgYjWho in the dayes of liis flefli 
healed all miferable and Returning Backjltders 
who ever came unto him. Therfore lee us lay to 
heart thefc things,that fo we may be kept in foul 
and body pure and unfpotted, holy and with- 
oat blame in his fight, untill the day of 
Redemption,when our mortality fliall 
put on immortality,and our cor 
ruptible incorruption,; to 
reigne with God for 
ever and ever. 

f IN IS, 




*A Chrittians conftant Advocate: 

n i 

Containin a ihort, but moft 

fwcct dircdion for every true Chriftian 

to walkc comfortably through this 
valley of tcarcs. 

By the Faithfull and Reverend 

D/^w, R.S i B s , D. D. andfomctimc 

Prcachertothc Honourable Society 

of Grayes-lnnc. 

^Stf ?i <^ 

: ted by <?. -. or f7^/f 
Grcenc-Arbcur at the llgne of the Angcll, 

. * 

in * j* 

*y i?4*?q 88$*!^f^*^3i^*s 

*6tf jOi* H*S jW^ *Ce> Jd H^u>> vOciau* *6tiod$ KiS 

A Table of the fcverall Heads con 
tained in this Trca ife. 

Onvittionoffinhw necfffary it it t* 

falvation, page 4^5 , 

Z.trhat tLuconi luting offtnne is, 

A particular convincing ofjinne. 

Hownvf fhatt kovf the common conviclion cf Confc i- 
ence from this of the Spirit. P ^7 

The ufe of all this hove the Spirit convinces. ^.46 8. 
Secend/jf y Conviclion of Right eotffneffe, ^.470, 

What the convittion ofrighteoufnefft is. \ 

Firft th:r*s afottrefold Gradation of conviclion 
I . There mufl be a rightcoufnefte. P47I 

a. That it is not in any creature? p. 471 . 

3. That this right ewfnefje is to l>c had in Chrift. 471. 
4. The Spirit convinces that this belongs to all he let" 
ver/. P47 Z * 

I. ^eflion. 

How the Holy Ghofl doth convince mtn of the righte- 
fotfe of Chrift. 47 2 . 

Why is the fending cf the Spirit ncceflarj forthe con 
vincing of this ri%htecH/n(JJe. P*g*47 3 
For the fe Re*fons. 

IF it is above tr)e conceit of man. p 473 

tfon why the Hilj Ghoft is nece fray for this con- 
vifliin. P-474 

^.Reafon.becaufe flrfl and blond is full of pride, p 474 

A Table. 

Alas lam not convinced of the Spirit that Chrifl is my 
rigkteottfneftejherfore what cafe am I in. p 476. 

The full anfwer is very comfortable. 
The ftfe of all this. 

In which irjkewen the priviledges and prerogatives of a 
man that i* convinced in all temptations. P^IJ, 

Godhimfelffeems to be our enemy. ^477, 
sfgainfl Satan. />-47&. 

Againft our owne confc iences. P 47% 

H0w we may know whether we be convinced of tku rigk- 

Theanfwtrto this. p 47 8- 

Secondly >btit how flatt I know &at the My Gkift hath 
convincedme enough offinne, fo that J may without prc 
fumption apply the righteoufnes of Chrift. p 479 

Ijfthchtlj Ghofl have dif covered my finftttt conditi 
on. p 479 

iJBy the work* of the Spirit. ^.479 

$\By inward peace andgreatjoj. p 480. 

t^Whtre thu is it anfwers all eljecJionf. p 480. 

The Vfe. 

How we fkouldlive by faith. ^4 g i . 

2 .How every day to make ufe of the righteoufajfe of 
Chrift. /48l 

VVherfore did hrijl goe to the Father. 

I . To make application cfwka* he had wrought B i 

2. To fend t he Spirit. 
3 .Toftop Satans mouth. 
^TomA ke the father our Fathtr. 
c *Sweet comfort at the bower ofdetth* 

Great comfort in the kottrc of death. 


4 $ 3 . 

p 484. 






IOHN 16. i 

comejbe /hall reproof e the world of 
finfigbtcoufnefje and] udgement.0ffinne~>t 
becaufc they beleeve not in me; Ofr/gbte- 
oufnesjbecaufe Igo to my Father $ Of judge 
ment, bccaufe the Prince of this world is 

Efpecially the io.verfe, Ofrighteoufnefabt- 
cAufc J go to my Father andyoufoaQfec me 
no more. 

U R bleffed Saviour de- 
fcending from Heaven to 
Earth for the Redemption 
of manrafrer he had acccom- 
plifhed that great work, he 
afcended thither againe. 
^ ^r^^ ^ And knowing his Dif- 
ciples would take his departure very heavily, 

Tbe Saints Privilege. 

Comforterunto rho 
any thing from his children but 
better. And this Comforter whom 
to fend ft all beare them 

fall ftrengthen you, and make w av L P L U 

2E^^ h - - 

worke allthcfe, he/hall r. 
the world of their ownefinn- of SL T"" 

The Saints 

in the carriage of the whole bufincfTc of mans 
falvation. Where he begins,hc makes an end. 
Where he Convinces of fin, he Convinces of 
righteoufne{Te,and then of a neccflity of a rcfor- 
niation,he bearcs all before him, and he doth it 

Firft, he convinces the world of fin, then of 
righteoufnes,then of judgcment,becaufe it were firu 
in vain to convince of the righteoufnes ofChrift, 
nnles he hath before convinced of fin $ For who 
cares for balmc that is not wounded? Who cares 
for a pardon that is not condemncd^therfore he 
convinces of fin fuft.I have fpoken heretofore of 
convincing of fin. 

Here is a threefold convincing of fin,of righ- 
tcoufncfle^nd of judgement, and every one of 
thefe hath a reafon added thcrto.0//?*, bccw 
they kclceve net in mt\of rightew fKcfabccaiifc I got 
to wy Fathcr ,of]udgr/ntnt,becAufi the Prince off bis 
world is judged. 

The Holy Ghoft begins with convincing of 
fin^whatisthis convinciRg t Itisacleareand in- j What i$th/i 
falliblcdcmonftrationof our conditionjt brings ( 
a commanding light into the foule,it fcts downe 
the foule and takes away all cavils, all turnings 
and windings. To convince is to mike a man as 
the Pfalmifts phrafe is, lay his hand upon his 
mouth. Light is a convincing thing, now we fee 
theSun,wc fee it is day>though ten iboufand men 
(houldfayitisnotday, wee would not beleeye 
th.em,becaufc the convincing hereof is undcnia 
ble,thac he muft be an unrcafonablc man that 
gainfiycs if.- So 

Tbt Saints Prhiledge. 

So then,the Spirit of God brings a comman- j 
ding lightincothe foule undeniable ^ thou art 
thus and thus, here no drifting, no winding and 
turning will ferve the turne, when the Holy 
Ghoft comes with this light.I do but plainly un 
fold this. 

This Convi&ion of the Holy Ghoft is not in 
generall onely, that all men are finners,but par 
ticular and ftrong, thou art a finner, and thou art 
indangcr of damnation j AnJitis univerfall, 
taking in fins of nature,fins of life>fins of the un* 
derftanding, will, and aifc<Sions,and it is not of 
(inneonely, but of the mifery by ;fin, of the 
danger, folly, and madnefle of fin, and ofthe 
aggravations that greaten finr^as of ftifling fo 
many good motions, iwkhftanding fo many 
meancs, abufing fo many mercies. The Holy 
Ghoft Convinces us throughly, that wee can 
have nothingto reply.Bccaufe I have fpoken of 
this before,! am ftiort. Bel ovcd^unlcflc the Holy 
Ghoft Convince, there will be no Convincing, 
our deceitfull hearts have fo many windings and 
turningsjproud nature armes itfelfe with defcn- 
ces,asahedge-hogg winds himfelfe round anc 
defends himfelf by his pricks.So you ha ve many 
cloaththemfelves with ftrong words 3 ill tranfla- 
tion8uponothers 5 frivolousmitigations,!;he way 
ofthe multitudes with a coateof male to keep 
out this C0nvi&ion,that did not theHoly G hof 
ftrike in hard with their confciences, Thou ar 
the manjthis work would never be done. 

vv c 

Tbc Saiuts Pfnibdge 

vee know common Conviflion ofconfcience 

rom this of the Spirit ? for carnall men that goe 

o Hell are Convinced by a Common Convidi- 

on. What is this faving Convi&ion ? 

Anfwer, Common Convi&ion by the light 
of Nature is a weake Convi&ion; a little fparke 


will (hew a little light, but it will not inlightcn a 1 rtncc. 
roome, it muft be the worke of fome greater 
ight,as the Sun^the Spirit is a ftrong light,ftron- 
^er then natural confcience. Naturall confcience 
and common light is of fome breaches of the fe- 
cond Table. Naturall confcience never convin 
ces of corrupt nature,burthe Spirit doth moft of 
all,asyou may feeinD^^rW pyi/.5i.Hcrefolves pf a !.j f . 
all into this,as if he fhould fay, what fhould I tell 
you of my murther and adultery, in fin did my 
nother conceive me, fo a true Chriftian doth 
not look to the branches fo much as to the root. 
Then agaiae 5 a naturall ccnfcience when it con- 
vinccth a man, it is againft his will., it makes nim rcncCt 
not the better man,he mends not upon it,but he 
is tortured and tormented-But a man that is con 
vinced by the Holy GhofUhe takes Gods part a- 
^ninft himfelfe,he is willing to be laid open that 
he may find the greater mercy^ So that there is a 
grand difference betwcene common convi&ion 
ofnaturc, and the convidion of the Spirit. The 
Conviftion of the Spirit is the light otrht Spi 
rit, Which is of a higher nature then that of nn- 
turall confcience, I will fend the Comforter 
when hee comes he will greatly inlightcn and 
over-power the foule. 

H h Againc, 



The Saints Pritikdge. 

Againe, the Convi&ion of the Spirit flicks 
by a man, it never leavesthe foule : But that of 
an ordinary confcicnce it is but for a flafh*and 
after they are worfe-i hen they were before. I 
muftcut off thefe things, bccaufethetimeisal- 
waics part uponthcfe occafions before we begin. 

Come we therefore to make fome y fe. The 
Spirit doth convince of fin. But howfbythe 
Mimftery ordinarily, though not alone by the 
Miniftery. Therforewe muft labour willingly 
to fubmit to the Miniftery convincing oi iin. 
Confcicnce will convince firft or laft. Is it not 
better to have a faving Conviction now to pur- 
pofe, then to haveabaredefperareConviftion 
in Hell. O beloved all the admonitions wee 

areiif we regard them not now> we lhall here 
after, therefore labour to make good ufe of this 
Sword of the Spirit of God, and it is an argu 
ment of a good heart to wifli>O that the Minifte 
ry might meet with my corruption, that it may 
jedifcoveredto me to the full. A true heart 
hinkes fin the greateft enemy, and of all other 
niferies it dcfires to be freed from the thsal- 
dome therof 3 For that defiles Heaven and Earth 
andfeperates God from his creature. Its that 
hat threw Angels outofH^aven 3 o^^^outof 
^aradice. What imbittersblefings and puts a 
ling into aUafflidions but fin?if it were not for 
in we would take up any crofTe, and beare any 
ffh&ion more qtiietly then we doe, 

Therefore as we defire to be faved, and to 
land with comfort before God at the day of 


The Saints Prfoiledgc* 

judgement, let us dcfirc and endeavour to bee 
throughly convinced of fin. Take hccdc of 
refifttng the Spirit of God in the Miniftcry : why 
arc fo many kd captives of their lufts, but be- 
caufethey ha;etheMim(lery oftheWord,thcy 
looke upon it as <^4bab did upon Eli*f, Haft 
thou found me, O my Enemy. They natural^ 
ly are in love with their fins, and there is none 
fo much hated as thofe that prefent thcmfclves 
to themfelvcs. A man take him in his pure 
naturals is a foolifli creature, his heart rifes a 
gainft Conviftion. You fee the Pharifees,Wifc 
men, Learned men,being convinced they hated 
Chrift to the death; why ? becaufe he did un- 
tombe them and difcover the dead mcns bones 
within. So many now a dayes that areconvin- 
ced, ha^c any that by life or fpeech difcover 
their fin unto them, if it were poffiblc and in 
their power to the dcath.Thus the Holy Ghoft 
convinces of fin. But before] leave this point,Iet 
meadde this from the reafon or ground of this 
Cw\\&iov[BcfMife they tclccvejiotinmc] That 
unbelecfe makes all other fins damnable, no 
fin is damnable if we could belccve and re- 
pent. Therefore we are convinced offin,be- 
caufe we doenotbckeve : as we fay of a man 
that is condemned, becaufe hec cannot rcade, 
therefore ,he is condemned, he fliould efcape 
if he could read being for nocreat fault So it 
is here 5 it is not beleeving in Chrift and repenting 
makes all other fins deadly. 

The differing of one man from another is 

H h 2 their 



The Saints Pritiledge. 


Convidion of ! 

their faith asd repentance/ome there be vvhofc 
fins are greater then others, yet by the Spirit 
of God and Faith, they vvorke them out every 
day. It is Faith in the brazen Serpent that 
takes away the fting of the fiery Serpents. 

I have done with the convi&ion of fin. Let us 
now come to fpeake of the convi&ion of 

my Father and 

A fourefold 
gradation of 
convi&ion of 

ywfhattfee mt no more^ It is a fit time for the 
Holy Gfaoft to convince Gods people of Righ 
teoufnefle when they are convinced of fin be- 
fore, then they can relifh Chrift: Balmeisj 
balme indeed when the wound is difcovered ! 
and felt, O then a pardon is welcom: when the 
partlc is condemned. Thcreafon of this con- 
vi<5Honof righteoufnefTe is^ becaufe 1 goe to my 
Father, and you flull fee me no mere. The Holy 
Ghofl as hee fets oa fin upon the confcience, 
fo heetakes offfin by applying to the confci- 
ence the RighteoufnefTe of Chrift , this is his 
office^ fifft^to convince the world of fin 5 and 
then to convince of RighteoufnefTe, wherby we 

| ftand righteous before God. 

And this Righteoufnefle heere is not our 

owne inherent 5 but the RighteoufnefTe of 
Chrift a Mediatour, God and Man. 

The Holy Ghoft convinces of Righte- 

oufnefTeinthis order of a fourefold gradation. 
Firft, that there muft bee a Righteouf 

nefle, and a full RighteaufneflTe. 
The fecond is this,that there is no fuch Righ- 

teoufncfleiBche creature. Third- 

The Saints VrWilcdgc. 


Thirdly, that this is to be had in Chrift the 

Fourthly, that this righteoufncffe is our 

Firft there muft be a i ighteoufnefle, for wee 
have to deale with a God who is righreoufneflfe 
icfelfe; and no uncleane thing flnll come into 
Heaven, unlcffe we have arighteoufncfTe, how 
flnll welooke God in the face, or how can we 
efcape hell. 

Now "for the fecond, that it is not in any 
creature,menor Angels ; we have not a righte- 
oufneflc of our owne; for there are divers 
things to bee fatisfied, God himfelfr, and the 
Law, and our owne confciences, and the world. 
Perhaps wee may have a righteoufnefle to fa 
tisfie the world, becaufe we live civilly 5 O but 
that will not fatisfie confcience ; And then there 
muft be a fatisfaftion to the Law, which is a 
large thing that condemnes ov.r thoughts, de- 
fires, but God is the moftperfed of all. Put 
cafe we have a righteoufneflc of a good carri 
age among men, this will not fatisfie God, and 
the Law, it will not fatisfie confcience 5 men 
they are our fellow-prifoners, confcience will 
not be contented but with that which will con 
tent God, when confcience fees there is fcch a 
righteoufnefle found out by the wifedomc of 
God that contents him, el fe confcience will be 
al waycs in doubts and fearcs. 

Thirdly, this nghteoufnefle is to be hid in , 3. 
Chrift V^hat is the righteoufnefle of Chrift t \ GradattM. 

H h * The 



The Saints Prwiledgc, 

The righteoufnefle of Chrift is that righteouf 
nefle that is founded upon his obedience, zCtive 
iilfiiling the Law, and paffivc difcharging all 
our debts? fatisfying Gods Juftice 5 the meri- 
torioufncfle of both of them is founded upon 
the purity of his Nature, all his fufferings and 
doings had their excellency from thcperfonall 
Union of God and Man, in reference to which 
Union we may without blafpherny averre that 
God performed the Law, God died for us. 

Fourthly and laftly , this righteoufneflc is our 
righteoufntfle, the Spirit convinceth that this 
belongs to all beleevers, for it is better then 

4dam had, his righteoufnefle was the righ 
teoufnefle of a man 5 This righteoufnefle is the 
righteoufnefle of a mediator 5 And it is fucha 
righteoufnefle, that when wee are cloathed 
with it, we may goe through the Juftice of God, 
wee may have acceflc with boldneffe to the 
throne of grace, and fay, Lord I come in the 
righteoufnefle of Chrift that hath appcafed thy 
wrath and fatisficd thy Juftice : this the Holy 
Ghoft convinces of. 

But you will aske mee, how doth the Holy 
Ghoft convince me of the righteoufnefle of 
Chrift . 

I anfwer,Firft the Holy Ghoft prcfentsto the 
foulethe knowledge of this excellent righteouf 
nefle, and then creates a hand of faith to im 
brace it being propofcd;you that are humble anc 

)" broken hearted finners, here is Chrift foryou 
The Spirit of God doth not onely revealcthe 

The Saint* 

cxcclTency^of Chrift, but that this belongs to 
me, that Chrift is given forme, and that revc- 
lanion of the Spirit doth fway the foule, when 
the Spirit doth not tell in gcnerall onely, that 
Chrift is an excellent Saviour, but (hall relate to 
a Chriftian foule, God gave Chrift for thee : 
this fwaycs the heart to reft upon Chrift, where 
upon the marriage is made up betwecne the 
foulcand Chrift,the foule faies lam Chrifts,and 
I give my felfe to Chrift, and to whatfocvcr ac 
companies Chrift : and then as it is in marriage, 
the pcrfons by vertucof that relation have intc- 
reft into each others fubftnnce and eftate. So 
when this myfticall marriage is made up be 
twecne Chrift ^nd us, wee have a right unto 
Chrift by all rights, by titles of purchafc and 
redemption ; Hee hath purchafed Heaven for 
us, and us for Heaven; all that Chrift hath is 
ours, all his good is ours, our finnes his, and his 
righteoufneffe ours ; So when the HolyGhoft 
convinces mec of Chrifls righteoufneffe, and 
gives me faithtoimbraceic, then Chrift is mine 
with all he hath. By this I have fpoken you 
may fee how the Spirit convinces, doebutima- 
gtne what a bleflfed condition the foule is in 
when this match is made. 

Bu: you will aske me, why is the fending of 
the Spirit ncccffary for the convincing of this 
righteoufncfle ? 

I anftverfor divers reafons, J - 

Firft, bccauicit isabovctheconceirofman, 
that there fliould be fuch a rightcoufncfT- of 

H h 4 



Rctfon i. 


The Saints Prniledgt. 

God-man 5 therefore it is difcovered by the 
Spirit, and when it is difcovered, the Spirit muft 
open the eyes of the foule to fee, els wee fliall 
have a naturall knowledge of fupernaturall 
things y for a man by anatuiall knowledge may 
underftand them, fo as to be able to difcourfecf 
them, therefore to change the foule, there muft 
be a fupernaturall right to fee fupernaturall 
things. A divell incarnate may know all things 
and yet want to fee., onely the Holy Ghoft gives 
nward fight jimvard eyes, and works faith to fee 
Chrift as mine. 

Againe, the fending of the Holy Ghoft is ne- 
ceflary for this convi&ion, becaufe hee alone 
muft fct downe the foule and make the confci 
ence quiet, who is greater then the confcience. 
Confcience will clamour thou art afinner, the 
Holy Ghoft convinces, in Chrift thou art righ 
teous. The Holy Ghoft onely knowes what 
is in the heart of God the Father, and in the 
heart of every man: He onely knowes the in 
tent of the Father to every Chriftinn, and can 
anfwer all inward Objections and Cavils of 
,flefli and blood raifed up againft the foule ; 
therefore the convincing of the Holy Ghoft is 
ineccflary. Howfoever Chrift hath purchafed 
our peace, yet the Holy Ghoft muft apply ic 
Forthe confcknce is fo full of clamours, that 
jUnleflTe the Holy Ghoft apply what Chrift hat! 
idone, confcience will not bee fatisfied : God 
the Father hath appointed Chrift, and Chrift 
hath wrought it, but the third perfon muft a 


The Saints Prirvikdge. 

ply it to the foule, to allure us, that this be 
longs to us. The application of all good things 
to the foulethat Chrift the Sonnc hath wrought, 
is the proper office of the third perfon. In civil! 
Contra&s here there muft notonely 6c a pur- 
chafe but a Seale, though Chrift hath wrought 
righteouJnefTe for us, the Spirit muft feale it to 
every foule, this righieoufnefle belongs to you, 
Chrift is yours with all that is his. 

Againe, it muft needes bee a workc of the 
Spirit, becaufe flefli and blood is full of pride 
and would faine have fome rig htcoufnt fife 
of their owne, the Jewes were of this temper, 
and it hath beene the greateft queftion from 
the beginning ofthc world nil rhisday, what 
is that righteoufncfTc whereby wee muftftand 
before God, but Gods Spirit anfwers all 
objections. Brlovsd, the bed of us though 
in an eftate of grace, if the Holy Ghoft doe 
not convince us, wee ftiall bee in darkenefTe 
and call all into queftion, therefore wee muft 
not bee convinced oncly at the firft, but in a 
continued courfe of Chriftianity : unltrfe the 
Holy Ghoft doththis, weefliallfall inroadun- 
geon of dai keneflo therefore the convincing of 
the Holy Ghoft UneaflHry. 

Beloved this ftiould make us take heed h 
we heare, and how were^de, even to beg this 
convincing of the Spirit in every Orin.nce 
O Lord vouchfafr the Spirit of revelation, anc 
take the fcales off mine eyes, that as thefcarr 
truths ofthemfelves, fothcy may be truths to 






The Saints Pfvviledge+ 

me. Sway my foulc that I may caft my felfe up - 
on thy mercy in Chrift ; ^. 

I muft anfwer fome Cafes that many a poore 
bule is troubled withall. Alas I am not con 
vinced by the Spirit that Chrift is my righte- 
oufneflc,therefore what cafe am 1 in ? 

I anfwcr, fome are more ftrongly convin 
ced and fome lefle. Lcc a man be carelcffe of 
loly duties, and he is Idle convinced, but Ice 
lim be conftant therein and he (hall finde the 
Holy Ghoft convincing him more ftrongly* 
that the righteoufneffe of Chrifi is his 5 there 
are many prefumptuous perfons that turne the 
grace of God into wantonneffe, who becaufe 
through the Enthufiafmcs of Satan they never 
queftion their eftate> but conceit themfclves 
to be good men and in theeftate of grace, thinke 
this to be the convincing of the Holy Ghoft : 
whereas this is a generall rule, Spirituall con 
vincing isnottotall, but alwayes leaves in the 
heart fome drugs of doubting, as a fhip that 
rides at anchor, though it may reele too and 
fro,y et is it fafe for the mainc. So it is with the 
foule that is truely convinced, it is fafe for the 
maine, yet it is tumbled androfTed with many 
doubts andfcares, Iput their Anchor is in Hea 

Take this for a ground of comfort fubfcri- 
bedunro in the experience of all beleevers, 
that the fpiiit of God fo farre convinces them 
ofChrifts righteoufnefle, a> prcfervesin them 
fuch a power ofgrace as to caft themfclves upon 



The Saints Prh>ikdge t 


the mercy of God in Chrift ; and God will not 
quench that fparke, though there be little or no 
light,yet there will be heate j God will fend his 
Spirit into the heart, fo far as it fliall not betray 
it fclfe to defpaire, and let fuch a beamc into the 
foule,as all the power in hell fhall not be able to 
keepcout; but it is our owne negle&thac we are 
not more ftrongly convinced fo as to breake 
through all. This is the priviledgcofaconftant 
carefull Chriftian, to be flrongly convinced oi 
the righteoufnefle of Chrift. 

Thus we fee how the Holy Ghoft convin- 
ccthus ofrightcoufnefle, otherthingslmufto 
mit. Ifthis be fo, I befeech you let us no: loofe 
our privilcdges and prerogatives, doth God 
give grace, and give Chrift with all hisrighte- 
oufncffc, andfh Jlnotweimproovethem ? Let 
us ufe this righteoufnefle in all temptations. 
Let us pleade it to God himfelfe, when hee 
feemes to be our enemy. Lord thou haft or 
dained a righteoufneflc, the righteoufnefle of 
Chrift, that hath given full fatisfacftion to thy 
juftice, and he hath given me a titleto Heaven: 
howfocvcr my foulebe indarknefle, yet Lord 
I come unto thee in the name of my Saviour, 
that thou wouldeft pcrfwade my foulc of that 
righteoufnefle. I would glorific thy Name. 
Wherein wijt thou be glorified ? In mercy or 
)uftice? O in mercy aboveall. I cannot glori- 
fiethee in thy mercy, unkflcthou perfwade me 
of the righteoufneffe of Chrift. Can I love 
thee except thou love mee firft ? Canft thou 



The Saints Prfoiledge. 

have any free and voluntary obedience from 
me, unlcfle I be convinced that Chrift is mine ? 
Now Lord I befecch thee, let me be fuch as 
thou maift take delight in. Beloved, fince we 
have meanes of fuch a gift, let us never reft 
till wee have it. If Satan fee upon us, hold 
this out, if hee tell thee thou art a finner 5 tell him 
I have a greater rightcoufneffe then my owne, 
even the rightcoufneflc of God-Man, I have 
arighteoufneffe above all my unrighteoufndle. 
Satan fakh God is difpleafed with me, I but he 
is more pleafcd with me in Chrift then difplea- 
fed with mee in my felfc. Satan faith I have 
finned againft God, I but not againft the rcmc- 
dy,fend Satan to Chrift. O but thou haft a cor 
rupt nature that makes thee runne into this finne 
and that finne 5 but there is a fpring of mercy in 
God,and an overrunning fountaine of righteouf- 
neffe in Chrift, an over- flowing fea of the blood 
of Chrift. Therefore Ictus labour to improove 
this righteoufneffe of Chrift to GodandSatart, 
and againft all temptations, yea againft our 
owne confciences; I am thus and thus ; yet God 
is thus and thus, all his Attributes are conveyed 
to me in Chrift. Let us exalt God and Chrift, 
and fet up Chrift above our fins, above any thing 
in the world, asS .Paul, who counted all things 
dung and drofle for the excellent knowledge of 
Chrift. You will aske mee, How fhall wee 
know whether we be convinced of this righte- 
oufnefTc or no * I anfwer , we may know by the 
Method Chnft ufes in convincing 5 Firft, hee 


The Saint t 

convinces of fin and then of righrcoufncflc; 
for a man to catch at tighteoulhcflc before 
hee be convinced of finne, ic is but an ufur- 
pationjfor the Holy Ghoft firft convinces of fin. 

Therforeyou have many peri(h,becaufc they 
never were abafcd enough. Beloved, people are 
not loft enough, and not miferable enough for 
Chriihand not broken enough for him,and thcr- 
fcre they goc without him. But how foall I know 
that theHoly Ghoft hath convinced me enough 
of fin, fo that I may without prefumption apply 
the rightcouftefle of Chrift unto my fclfe ? 
Onclythus, if theHoly Ghoft have difcove- 
red ray finfull condition of nature and life, fo 
as to worke in me an hatred of fin, and to alter 
ray bent another way,nnd fo rrnke Chrift fwcct 
unto me, then I am (ufficiently convinced of fin, 

This innnfwer to that Q^eftion by the way. 
Torcturneinthenextpbce, J may know I am 
convinced throughly of the righteotifnefle of 
Chrift by the witncffe and worke of the Spirit. 
The Spirit brings light and faith,tlic work of the 
Spirit hath a light of its owne, as I knowlbe- 
leeve,when 1 belecvc, but fomctimes we have 
not the rcfleft eft of faith whereby to evidence 
our owne graces to our fel ves, but ever he that is 
convinced of the Spirit of God,his heart will be 
wrought to bearc marvellous love to Godsiipon 
this apprehenfion, that God is mine, ami Chrift 
ismine,thefouleisconftraincdco love, wher- 
upon enfues an enlargement of henrt and a pre- 
valency of comfort above all difcorcfort, for 




The Saints PriT>iledge 9 

love cafteth out feare.Tfais one comfort that our 
fins are forgiven and that we have right and title 
to Heaven,whcn the fouleis convinced of this it 
is in a bleffed condition, then what is poverty 
aadwhatisimprifonment ? not worthy to bee 
reckoned in refped of the glory that fliall be* 

Againe, where the Holy Ghoft convinces 
enough,therc is inward peace and great joy futa- 
ble to the righteoufnefle. As the righteoufncfle 
is an excellent righteoufnefle of God-Man, fo 
that peace and joy that comes from it is unfpeak- 
able peace and joy : So that when the heart fees 
it felfe inflated in sieace and joy, as you have it, 
Rom s. Beivgjujiijied by faith we have feace to 
wards God> not only inward peace and joy, buta 
peace that will (hew it felfe abroad, a glorious 
peace,a peace that will make us ^rj^verf.^We 
glory in tribulation, A hard matter to glory in 
abafement: notonelyfo, but we glory in God, 
God is ours, and Chrifts righteoufncfle ours; 
when Chrift hath fatisfied Gods wrath, thea 
wee may make our boaft of God. 

Againe,where this convi&ion of righteoufnes 
is, it anfwers all objections, the doubting heart 
will objift this and that, but the Spirit of God 
fliewes an All-fufficitncy in Chrifts obedience, 
and chat fets the fouledownc quietly in allcrof- 
fes, and calmes it in all ftormcs in fomedcgree. 
Where the foule is convinced of the righteouf- 
nefTeofChnft, there the conference demands 
boldly:/^ if Godtbatjufajies,wboJluUcondcinfl?lt 

The Saints 

is Chrift that is dead And rifen AgAtne, And fits at 
the right havdofGod fl r ho flail lay any thing to the 
chageofGeds cbcfcn. Sothat a convinced confci- 
cncc dares all creatures in Heaven and Earth, 
it works ftrongly and boldly. J fhall not need to 
! inlargethis, you know whether you are convin 
ced. To end the Point, Ibefeechyoulabourto 
I live by this Faith, here is an evidence if we can 
! live by it ? How is that ? Every day to make ufe 
! of the righteoufnefTe of Chrift, as every day we 
run into fin. Be Cure wee have our confcienccs 
fprinkled with theblood of Chrift,that as we in- 
creafe new guilt,fe we may have a new pardon, 
therefore every day labour to fee God as recon 
ciled and Chrift as our Advocate with the Fa 
ther. Chrift is now in Heaven, if wee fin,makc 
ufc ofhim,thisfliouldbethelifcofa Chriftian, 
to make ufe of Chrifts righteoufnefTe$when you 
findc nature polluted, goe to God , and fay, 
Lord my nature though foule in it felfe, 
yet is holy and pure in Chrift, He tookethc 
wcakenefTeofthe humane nature unto him that 
hee might communicate the worth and efficacy 
of his divine nature unto mc,and for my aftions 
I am a finner,but Chrift hath fully difcharged all 
my debts,and is now in Heaven, he hath perfor 
med all righteoufneffe for me. Looke not upon 
me as in my felfe, butlookeuponme in Chrift 3 
Heand I am one. This fhould be every dales ex- 
ercifetofeeourfclvesin Chrift, and fofce him 
and our felves one. I fliould inlarge the point fur- 
ther^but I will fpeak a word of the reafon. 





The Saints Prh>iledge, 

Whatisthereafonwhy the Comforter may 
and (hall convince of righteoufncflTe? Becaufiigo 
to the Father jNhtt ft rcngth is there in that reafon? 
why this,Chrift took upon himtobeourfurety, 
and he muft acquit us of all our fins ere hecan go 
to his Fathers If one fin had bcene unfatisfied 
for he could not have gone to his Father^ but 
now he is gone to his Father,therfore all our fins 
arc fatisfied for, fo that now the Afcention of 
Chrift is a {ufficient pledgeto me that my pcrfon 
is accepted ,and my fins pardoned, becaufe he is 
gone to his Father to appeare before the Father 
for us,which he could not have done,had he not 
fulfilled all righteoufncfT^. 

But wherefore did he go to the Father ? why 
to make application of what he had wrought. If 
Chrift fhould nor have gone to the Father, hee 
could not have fent the Holy Ghoft tous.Ther- 
fore there is great ufe of this going to his Father. 
Satan pleads before God we are Inch and fuch, I 
but faith Chrift ] have fhed my blood for them, 
and there he perfumes all our vveake prayers 5 if 
we were not imperfeft what need we a Mediator 
in Heaven. Therefore he is gone to Heaven to 
difanull all Satans accufations, and fo provide a 
place for us 5 die when wee will, our place is 

Thenagain 5 he is gone to the Father to cloath 
uswithafwcetrelation,tomake the Father our 
Father. For he faith,/<?/&. 12.17. Ig** * y Father 
*ndtoy*ur Father fa that he is not afliamed to call 
us Brethren 5 by venue of this we may go to God 


The Saints Prftiledge, 

and call him Father,and when we dye we may 
without preemption fay,Fa her into thy hands 
I commend my fpirit, for the Father loves us 
as he loved Chrift, with one and the fame love, 
though in a farre different degree. What a corn- 
fort is this,that when wedie, wcgoeto oar Fa 
ther that is better then any earthly Father; Ther- 
fore it fliould joy us when the timcof our depar 
ture comes: We fee old I<tcob whenhee faw the 
Chariots came out of ^Egypt, how his heart 
leaped, bccaufc he fliould go to fee bis Son/0/epA 
Sowhcndcathisfenttotranfport us to Chrift 
to Heaven, had we a ftrong faith wee fhould bee 
exceeding glad. 

AndlctusJearnehcrc the art of Faith from 
CYm&ytroctttkeFrthtr, faith bee, there was a 
great deal of time yet to pa(Te,no IcfTe chcn forty 
daycs after his Refurre&ion before hee went to 
the Father, yet he faith, I goe to the Father, to 
fliew that faith prefents things future as prefcnt 5 
Faith fees Heaven as prcfent, and the day of 
judgement as prcfent,and dothaffcft thefouleas 
if they were now exiftent. If we had a Spirit of 
Faith it would thus prefent things farre off as 
nighathand.Therforewhenwc meet with auy 
thing that may make our way to Heaven feemc 
ongortroublefomc, exercifc your Faith, and 
make your tcrme prefent to your fpirit though 
remote from fence,fay I goe to the Fathcr,what 
though I goe through blood and a fhimefull 
death,yea perhaps a tormentfull death: yet I 
goe to the Fathcr^when a man is once perfwa- 

I i ded 

4 8 4 


The Saints PriVikdge, 

ded that God is his Father in Chrift>it will make 
him walk to Heaven before his time. 

Let us make Vfe of this point of Chrifts go 
ing to the Father. Beloved, there is not a poinr 
of Religion but hath a wonderful] fpring of 
cemforr,and it is want of faith that wee doe not 
draw more comfort from them.When thcrfore 
we part with our friends by death, thinke they 
are gone tothe Father. If yee loved mte, faith 
Chri?t,ye would rejoyce,becaufcj &id, / goz^ 
tothe Father. \i we love our friends, we (hould re- 
joy ce when they diq Beloved, this fliould com 
fort us,Chrift isgone to his Father, O what wel 
come was there ofChritt when bee came into 
Heaven, the fame welcome will there be when 
we goto the Father? How joyful! entertainment 
fhall we have of the Father and the Son ? Ther- 
fore death fhould not betroublefome to us, fay 
Chrifts righteoufnefle is mine, therforejknow 
I (hall goe to the father, what care I then what 
kind of pains I go through Jf a man be going to 
adefiredplace,howfoeverthe way be trouble- 
fome,the fweetnes of the end will make him for 
get the difcoutagements of his paffege . Perhaps 
we muft wade to Heaven through a Sea of 
bloud,it matters not, the end will recompence 
all, though vveloofe our limbes by the way : 
It is better to limpe to Heaven, then dance to 





of the Speciall Points contained 

in ibis Bookc-i 


Anger of God, w ha t it in. p. 1 7 7. 
<xf**rof God whar eflfcds it 
hathagainftfinnc,p 178. 
tslngcr of God the 
thing in AfHidions^.i^ 

singer of God makes the leaft 
erode moft terrible,^, i 80. 

Anger of God tut ncd away by 
Repcn:ance,p. i8i,2rr. 

Anger of God the meanes to a- 
void it,p. ip I. 

Humility a ccrtainc way to a- 
VOld Gods Anger ytg . i p i . 

Cr^/ that arc good, 
arc ever accompa 
nied u-ith comfort, 
P*g* 284. 
corporall and fp ; - 
rituaii hardly reclaimed, p. 344. 

their uic, p.29^. 
ought to bee placed 
on their right ob/t:<5b,p. 312. 
Affetliins why planted in the 


ow to kaow they j 
arc not in wrath though they ; 
continue p. 1 8 8. 

Afflittions not to conaplainc of 
them,/), i 2, 1 3. 

Affiiniomx prcfirabic to Gods 
chiluren,^. 270, 271. 

No Annoytnce in this life or 
another but God hath provided 
iome defence a^ainft if, 366,367 

crrour refuted. 

Am nj withPapifts dangerous, 

In Jffocittim we muft joync 
with thole that arc good, p. 12 7. 

All vvickci Jf*d*9i \Mll 
end in cvcrladi ghacrcdf. 31 . 
I i 2 /fr- 

The Index. 

Gods love cauieth 


Blfjfmgs of God not to be fpent 

Outward BkJJifg* may bee 
prayed for, p. 36537. 

Bleffinft. how to know they 
come from Gods lovt,^. 3 j t &c. 
God* children 

prone 100,^.127. 

fs.:ffe in goodnefle ought 
not to difcourage us,/?. 207. 

under meanes not 

Ctnj4tvcc in outward helpcs 
men prone to by nature,/?. 5 8 , 

n the 
when exceeded ^,. 


The Cre*t*fe notable to lielpe 
us in cur greaccft need,/>.6p. 

Creature the vanity ot ir, ^70. 

Creatures coiptincfle difcove- 
red mfundry rcfpcft?, ^.83,84 

The moft comfortable rea- 
in their cxcefle hart,^. 

why hated of the 

Baptifme made an IdoII by 


in the Lords Supper 
made anldollbyPapifts,^ 324. 


Beleeving more honours God 
then our fins diChonour him, 


itjg is Idolatry,^. 8 oj 


Carrall Confidence \hs danger of 

Cottf^nce not plared on the 
creature by a true Chriftian p.-7? 

world, />.! 02. 

Chrtfti**s place no confidence 
in the creatures,^ ,76. 

Chrifltans courle to be in love 
withit,/>.;pp 40 a. 

A Chnftiant glory is to bee 
fruitftill in his places,/?. 244, &e. 

Chriftiws their comfortable 

Chrlflians compared to Lillies 
in regard of their growth in grace 

ou^ht all to be ex 
cel lent in their kind,^ I#8 Ip. 

Chriftians compared to Corne 
in fundry ni peels./?. 2 ^9,^. 

C&riftiMvi ar? fruit bll under 
good mcanes.^.s 6$. 

Cfaiftiws like Vin-es for 
fruitftfilneHe.^. 73, &c. 

Chrijtians that are un fruit full 
arc the wor ft of men 3 /> 

The Index* 

that arc fruitfull GccJ 

ans tat arc rutu c o ave a co 

I tak^s a (pedal! care of>. 276,1 77 rydifpofitionto the world, 

Chrini**s d at arc weak not to 

Children of God have a contra- 

4^4, & 

be dikoara^cd^. 7 79,280. ^ Children of God not to fcarc 

bow they cocic to future things,;^ 9 8. 

fend forth a f wcetfcnr, fag. 281, 

by contra) ics,o % 275 

God govcrncs it 



10 be prayed 

The ^ rcA v cclds a fhaJo w 




t WJfa. 

whom to be made 

is a fignc 
of the forgivcncs of our Gns^.ap. 

Want of Convittun of finnc 


no faivati- Comforts abufcd prcovc fnarcs,^. 
,y. >y. 3<*S. 

Church the benefits of being in , Comfort naturally accompani* 

who live out of it arc in j Comfinsat Chriftuns why not 
a wocfulhfta-c,p 263. apprehended by thcua^.a.4 225, 

Churches outward condition dc 
fpicable p. 174. 

Church or God weak or it felf, 


Childnn ought not t hinder 
our ftanding cut in a good caufe,/> 


Iencyofit,/> 285. 

fruicfull the excel 

make us , 

Communion wi h God to bee 
laboured fur,p. 3^,40 

No Communion betwecne God 
.ind Idoh, p. 100,10% 

Ccwnvii* with GoJ Ullli 

worldly ,p. K ix 

makc "- hatt 

LSI ij^ ,^. r i 

Children at our death in faith to , ^ ,.. 

be commended to- God, p.iij.j A good Conferee oagLt not 
j,^ t ; to be parted wi.h,/>.i 10. 

C^7/r^ofGodarcaIwaycs in 

Irom be 


NJ Condition fo di 
t ut God can alter it ,f . i co 


The Index. 

Crucifixes not to be ufed, 


In good Caufes wee ought to 
be refolure 39 ,394. 
Having God for our flicl er we ! fufhred to fall intr,i 04,105:. 

make us bold b bis caufe, 3 70. 



Extremities why Go r is children 

ought to be bold in good 

Gods Commandcments ought 
to be obeyed, 4 2 6. 


Good Company a means to in- 
able as to walk refoltitely in Gods 


ifw, fpirituall m anes 
thebeftto prevent it,y. 

perions God very 

Eifetfes of the foule how to 
know them,i 30. &c. 

D oft b ting. 

Dott&ting kils thankfulInefTe,5 2 
of Gods mercy a 


continually on all 


x ample. 
^ muft not live by x*tmfle y 

To co me to a right *fc/,the beft 
way is to take Gods way ,42 7. 

Confederation of our End will 
make us walk refolutcly in Gods- 


Faffs of Gods children made 

reat fin, 

Gods Eye being upon us (hould 
j make our e^ e be upon him, 2 78. 
i Gods Eye being upon us fhould 

Godcfpccially mcr 
ci full too, 10 7. 


Family all under it the better 
for a godly Governor. 259, 


Forces home or f crra : gne not to 
be trull cd 100,75. 

Forgiveness of fins, how known 

to betruly 

Tvr givektfa offrns to be deli- 
red above all mercies, 27.2.8. 

of fins the mi/cry 
of 1 

The Index. 

of thofe i hat want ir,3 1,3 2. 

F^rfioftteffi of lins noc eafily 
attained, 160. 


Free love of Cod to his people, 

1 66 

r cof God the caufc of 

all mercies, 1 5 5, o/V. 

FrttitfuUneflc the benefk of it, 


Fruitfr&mfe of Cbrifti. ns in 

their pai ticular pi ices is their glo- 

of Cnriftjans cfe- 
light ulico COD andman,248, 


FrttirftfHncffe in grce brings 
peace and comfort ro a man, 287. 

ftqiifttft Chriftians leave a 
good f enr nchind "them,? $ o, : 5 1 . 

Fruitful! Chrillians compared 
to Vines, 27 2 err. 

Frjir/5r//Cririftian8 God hath a 
fpcciallcaiv 0^276. 

Frui xll Convcrfation the 

(/**Jwdrfcei why^they cannot, 
merit,3 84 


God rightly apprehended makes 
us fhakc off all talfc trufts, loo, 

God is onr All-fufficicncy in 

God\H diftrcflcs to be traded in 
i r?. 

is the great Pfyfitian of the 

God is willing to hcalc anc 

Cjod loves his people freely, 

\b6. t &c. 

God to make him our fhadow, 

God beirg our flicker and fha- 
duw,wc Aiouldbc bold in good 

^ our fhidow the com 

fort of it, 

God how to be corccivcd of 
in our wordiippingor ^01,330 


excellency of it, 286^87. 

Fruitlefff Christians of all men 

thswor(l,274. 3 , 

To f<:t up any thing m our f inHS 

above 6W is Idolatry, 354. 
Cjnd is the oncly true dcr 

Chriilians happincflc arifing , 

Good that is faving comes 


from hcncc,370. 
God not bei >g wicked n 

The Index, 

Belter makes their edate mcft 

Who have not God for a 
ter are mod mi(erable,37?. 

Grare compared to dew in fui> 
dry refpe<5r.s,20i,^f. 

Grace of God 

Grace, of God comes inienfi- 
bly and invifibly 5 a02.20j. 

Grace works mildly upon the 

Grace cheares and comforts the 
foulc 205. 

Grace makes barren foules 

Grace of God unrefiflible^otf. 

Barrenrefic in Grace ought not 
to difcourage us, 207. 

Grace themranes toincrcafeir 

Grace -wrought in the fcule is 
an evidence of the pardon of fin 
in that foule^op. 

All Grace from God, 210^211, 

Grace how to be attained, 2 1 2. 

Grace compared to Drives in 

divers re 
How to bee rooted in Grace, 

}I &c. 

Gra t, why fome hsve more 

then others , 

In praying for Grace wee muft 
waite Gods kifure^po, 

Grace is of a fru^Uying nature, 

G y at ions fruit comes frcm God 
and us too, 

Gf**& of Chriftians like Lii- 
Sudden Growth of Gods chil 
Growth in grace the necefiry 
Growth in grace the meanes to 

in grace to be Mea 
sured after, 2^6^ r. 

ChriQians irnny time; decei 
ved about their growth in 

Grwth in grace, the cl iefeft 

Cbriftians their ex* I 

ccllency, s 

Families ou ,ht ! 

to indcavour to be good ifor 
ir fakes that are under them, 

G rat ious Cjovewors will com 
m -inicate grace to their Family 

fit ft and fecond fprin^ 

of it fpeedy 2 1 4, 



how to difccrne 


True ffatrttJQffa is univerfall 


The Index. 

True Hatred of fin is implaca- 

ble,f>. 300. 

Hatred of fin ever follows true 

Nothing loft by renouncing /- 

red oflin how to be attain 
ed, 305, 

m how k 
Heart chiefly required ofGod, 


Broken Heart a Sacrifice, 45. 


Humility a certain way to (nun 
Gods anger., 19 1. 


Idolatry 5 men prone to it by na- 

Idolatry what it is, 90. 
Idolatry frames bale conceits of 

Idolatry how it is committed, 


Idolatry the occafions of it to 
be avoided, 3 2 9,3 30. 

Idols why to be hated, 3 1 p^c . 
Idols abhominable toGcKJ,3 1 9 
Idols oppoiitetoGod, 320. 


Infirmities, why God differs 
them in his children* 1 57, #t . 

Infirmities of Gods children 
qiade their gain, 158. 

Our Infirmities ought not too 
much todejeft us, 159. 

Impenitent (inners not to be en 
vied, 13 4. 


Infidtlity the caufc of all woe, 

men, who they 
men have reipeft to all 
Gods Commandcnients , 429, 

Clofe Idolatries of many Juft men do all things to a good 

Chriftians,^30. en< M-J> 43 *; 

7M/fry, Gods punishments on J/* men deiire to grow in 
people for it, 342. ! grace 43 1. 

Idolatry, means to avoide it,; JwJ* men love the Brethren,*^ i 

Juft men have only caufc to rc- 

Idolaters hatcfull to God, 339* joyce,^?. 

Idolaters,God$ punifhircnts on 

Idolatry how fleighted by many 

__ of God afldChrirt 
is a mcaius to make people 



leave Idolatry, fag. 3 40,3 4 1 . 


Life of man fiibjeft to many 
annoyances both outward and 
inward, 374,375. 

Men muft be endued with rpi- 
ritual Life before they can walke 
in Gods wayes, 436. 

Love of God an evidence of 
the pardon of our fins, 3 0,2 1 . 

Love of-God to his people free 

Love of God to us eternall, 

Love of God to us not to be 
meafured by our feeling of it, 17 3 

Love of God the caufe of all 
mercies to us, 173,!^. 

Gods Love is a fruitful 1 Love, 


Mercy Gods fcope in the new 
Covenant, 145. 

Gods Mercies are compleat to 
his children, 1 03. 

Mercy fweetneth all Gods At 
tributes, 103. 

Mercy agreeable to Gods na 
ture, 185. 

God chiefly Mercifull to thofe 
who moft ftand in need of his 
Mercy, 105. 


Mercifulnefle to others isanc- 
vidcnce of the pardon of our fins, 

3 1 - 

Mercifulnejje a character of 
Godschilde, 112. 

Means of Salvation not profi 
ted by, bring deftru&ion, 246. 

In the ufe of all Means, to look 

Mafes that we ought not to be 
prefent at them,326. 

Man not to be a prefcriber of 
his own way, 42 3. 

Occafions of fin to be avoided, 

3 o 4 . p ,^ 

Pafifts grofle Idolater s,pi,e^ 

Their fhift^ for worfhipping 
Images answered, 9 1 . 

Pafift s how they idolize Saints, 

Papifts make an Idoll of the 

Papifts worfe Idolaters then 

Papzfts why they arefo impu 
dent in their Idolatry, 328. 

Papifts why fo hardly conver 
ted, 341. 
_____ _ Papifts 

The Index. 


Prayer is a Ipcciafl helpe againft 
all fin and (orrowjy, 
Prayer icts God on work,l 8. 
Prayer aolvvercd where a fpirit 

net to bee converted 

Poptfl Writers to beware of 
them, 3 2 8. 

No re. o icilia ion between Pa- 
/>///ar,d PiOuitaf,ts 326. of Prayer is given, 121, 

I ardon. Our Prayers arc heard when 

Pardon of fin the chiefcft mer- we renounce fin^jp^do. 
cy which makes way for all other j . Praife. 

149. TVd/yJran acceptable Sacrifice 

GoJPdr. *;*/ allfins/ia 5,126, to G 0^,48,49. 
141. } _ Helps to inablc us to Praife 

Pardon offinne wby not appre- 

hended, 145?. 
Tardon cf iinkow known,l5 
Pardon of fin how known when 
| we are ftill f ub jcd to fin. 1 5 *. 

Pardon ot fin 1,0: attaiiicd with- 
out Humiliation and Reformat!- 

P*:e of corifciencc is an evi 
dence of the pardon of our tins, 

Pea:t of conicisncc in acarnall 
man whence itcoaies 155. 

Perfcvtrancc the ground of it, 

g of God muft bcc from 


of God ircouragc- 

Praife an honour to God. 5 8. 

Praife a gainfull trade, 5 8,59, 
Prafi a noble aclof Rsligior,59 

Prai/9 a larger Sacrifice then 
Prayer, 5 p. 

Praife. an heavenly a&ion,6o. 

Praifing God.brings joy 60,6 1 

Praife how to know when it is 
accepted^ i. 

To have 

n in ad 

miration is IJola ry,333. 

too is Idolatry, 3 

Promifes of Chrift knownc 
Workc grace in 113,^35,234.. 

God ilabiiflieth 

us in tHem, 2 34. 

Prudevce.Stz Wifdowe. 
Heavenly Prudence, definition 

truftcd ofir,4io. 

God hath his fee fie in the worft 

The waies of Gods Troi vk*ce 


The Index. 



OF Ret wring to the Lord^SjC^f. 
How to know whether \vcc 

Rtfamatfan oflifc muft be joy- 

ncd with Pra 


True Repentance is of the parti 

cular (in we are molt add idled too 


Repentance a tryall of it/ 6. 

Rfpentavcenotto bee delayed, 

Repentance tarncs away Gods 


for fin patiently en 
dured is an evidence of the par 
don ofour fins, 3 02, 3 03. 
Reproofe of fin ho w tobc orde- 



Sacrifices of Chriftians under 

Our Salvation is certaine. 1 69. 
God willing to Save men,i 39, 

No S luatidn out of the Quirt h 

Comforrs arifing trom Saints 

State of Gods children firme, 


of the wicked unftable, 

Difference betwixt our 


Sincerity ^mtiaes a Chriftian, 


Icis not in vaine to 


All ^^ alike hated by a fin- 
cere Chrirtian,2y. 
AlSin why to be praied a 
Sin brings judgen ent,i 2, 
Sin hateful! to a conscience a- 
wakcntd, 25. 

formerly committed to 

to know they a r c 
bitterneflecaufeth Rc- 

StMity of Saints whence it 

SbtMete* difcafe,!2 

All Smnes God is willing to 

negleded prove incu 
rable,) 26. 

Sinnes being difeafes are pre 


The Index. 

fcntly to bcc cured, f*g. 133, 

X *?M fC ^ hC<J Ur . J 47 ^"" hclps to make u, hate it 

; *3 lubducd is an evidence of 352. 

i rhe P jr don of fin,i 5 1 . Sinn* the ctmfc of .11 ill, 

*>/w why luftercd to remaine in ; 353. 

Si* our grcatcft enemy, 354. 

"^ 157, 158. vifwuj 

ft* is the obj ft of Gods an- Sin renounced wilT makc GoJ 

:r T 77>^. j hcarc our prayers, 3 jp 

^* contrary to Gods nature, Wane of Convidion of Sinn* 

\ I yg^ . 1,_. i ^ 

Sin muft not only bcc left but 
hated, 25*7. 

how knownc to be hated, 

V truly hated when it is nni- 
vcrfally hated,a$>$*, 300. 

Sin truly hated when implacab 
ly hated, 300, 301, 

Sin truly hated when chiefly 
hated inourfelves,30i,3oi. 

Great Sinncs inuit be hated in 
the greateft rncafure, p*g. 302, 

Not to love to be flattered ii, 
our Sinnes is a fignc ot the true 
hatred of our fins, 304. 

Sinne the occalkms of it to bcc 
avoided. 3 04. 

Sinne\\o\N wee may come to 
hate it, 30 8,^-. 

Swne fee forth as it is in irs 
owr.c nature will make us hate it, 

*VSI4 SS4 ^> ft fl I 

makes us cafe Icflc of finnc, 1 3 6. 

Impenitent Sinners noc to bee 
envied, 1 3 4. 

Sinntrs un repent ing their 
dangerous condition, 30. 

Settle difeafcs how to know 

S*ul* God is willing to lave 



They who will not S*jf<r for 

Sinne is the bane of all our com- 

Si**c the onely objecT: of the 

AOurancc of Gods love works 
e in us. 5 3,54 

vcrball -ought 
to be /unified by deeds, 49, 50. 
how to know 

it is accepted^ i 

Vcngctnce nccrc thofc that 

_^ profit 

The Index. 

profit not by the meanes of falva- what we mutt avoid^ <> j. 

VVayes of God the iafeft waies 

Sight of our Uwcrthinefle fT^*;*/ of God the pkafanteft 
fliould not difcourage 

Vows. Wayss of GOD the moft holy 

their ufe, 41. and cleanc waics, 4? 3. 

k , See luft. Walking In Gods w*yu what 

W itimplycs4p,454. 

Ho ^v to know we walk on in 
GODS tfV/,4 74,4 j 5 d-f. 
^WKo will walke aright in 
GODS W*j?s muftbee rcfolutc 
againft ail oppol ion,455. 
And pray to Goi for ftrength, 

Wayts of God ri^ht,4a f . 
Waycs of God whcrin he walks 

which God prefcribes 

of Gods providence all 

Man ought not to bee a prefcri- 
ber of his ownc ^7,44. j conftantly 

To juftifis Gods Wayes in c Walkers inCiojs Way 9$ their 
villtimesa note of Gods elcft. happintfle^y r. 


Good company a meanes to 
enable us to walk rcfolutely and 


Before men can walke in 
Gods trtjes they muft have fpi- 
rituall Iif 

fies men to bee true Chriftians, 



wne, a 1 5 


lawfullneffe of it, 

every yeare turned int 

Chriflians ot to bedif- 

44 2 - 

Wtyts-at God mud be walkt in 
and not oncly talkt of, 454. 

Having our c;id in our eye will j Warning, 

inabie u? to walk rcfolucely in God gives Warning before hec 
Gods ff*7Ar448 44p r fmites,^. 

To walk on in the \ ight Wayes Wickrd. 

of God wee mult walKC wifely, Wtrlyd mens condition is fa- 
re. | ding 254.^-^. 

In walking in Gods WAJC$\ Wtcked men abhominable to 


moft mifcrablc in 
th .t they have not God tor a (hcl- 
m,p*c 387. 


HJW men make tbcir ownc 
//// and wits Itals,?4*S0*f. 
*W/-worfhip no flcight matter 


Truly wy* but few, 426, 417,, 

All men naturally defirc to bee 

thought Jrifr 

Heavenly rviftdom? the definiti 


Heavenly voifdome the (ignes of 

ffWofGod is pcrfc(fT,445. 

bee bclecved 

The ^rW without the Spirit is 

uni ffcduall, 4 34,43 5 

The lame yrorj of God that is a 
Word of life to the godly, is a 
Word of perdition to the wic 
ked, ^6. 

Word of God not to bet loved 
thewcrfc, bccaufc wicked men 
arr made the worle by it, 477. 

ufcd in prayer, a:. 

Want of good Works ought 
not to hinder our Conycrfion or 

Good Work* why they cannot 


World not able ^to deprive us of 
Gcds Spirit aud grace, 414, 



of God makes crofts, 

F I N I Si 







of the 

University of Toronto